Who would have thought that making your own wine at home would be so easy?! Vriendschap Village resident, Larry Engbers, once owned his own vineyard and would make wine at home all the time. He wanted to share his passion with everyone else and let them enjoy a hands-on experience!
Larry decided to go with a rhubarb wine and the first step was to collect 18 pounds of rhubarb. Although it sounds like a lot, we were able to round it up fairly quickly from fellow residents or individuals in town, which we are very grateful for! After we cut up all of the rhubarb, the first step was to soak it in water, yeast, sugar, and several other special ingredients that help turn rhubarb into wine.
After it soaked in the mixture for a week, we transferred the liquid into a carboy which looks like clear glass jug. This gave us the ability to watch the process better and witness the solution transform before our eyes! This step lasted for three weeks; we then had to transfer the mixture to another carboy which filtered the liquid, leaving all of the sediment behind. We did this same process another time just before bottling, as we curiously watched the wine turn from a pink color to a clear, almost translucent color.
The last step was the most important… bottling! Larry was ready to go with all of his gadgets. We filtered the wine before pouring it into a container to pump into bottles. From there, we corked each bottle to create an air-tight seal. The bottles will now sit for a bit longer until they are ready to be consumed by thirsty residents. If anyone needs some wine for a special event and would like to make it unique, come talk to Larry and he will eagerly make arrangements for you!
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Larry for sharing his passion with us and dedicating so much time and hard work into creating a memorable experience for all. We also would like to express our gratitude to Jonita, the wine maker at Tassel Ridge Winery, for helping provide some of the ingredients and calculating how much we would need for our recipe process. Thank you to everyone who helped out along the way, ultimately making this project a great success. We can’t wait to enjoy the fruits to our labor!
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