In the upcoming weeks, before we get back in to the swing of things and ready for Spring, we will try and get our wine labeled and transferred back to Kimmel Orchard. The last of the wines that we produce are our fruit wines. This is because we use our fresh apple cider from the previous fall in both our Apple Wine and Apple Pie Wine. We also use the cherry juice from our Montmorency cherries grown right here at the Orchard to make our Cherry Wine.
Throughout the fall we typically produce around 12,000-16,000 gallons of fresh apple cider. From that, around 700 gallons will be used to produce our Apple Wine. By the numbers, our Apple Wine is one of the best sellers for us (Only seems right since we are known for our apples!). We also will distill some of our Apple Cider and the spirits from that will then be blended with our Apple Wine to create a guest favorite, Apple Pie Wine.
Usually the last wine we will produce from the previous year’s crop is our Cherry Wine. This is the most popular wine we produce as it usually sells out on a year to year basis! There is a lot of prep work with this wine before it is ready for our guests to enjoy. As you may assume, cherries are not the most pleasant thing to pick. We will spend around two weeks picking all the cherries grown here. From there we will freeze all cherries in our collection bins and once everything is picked we will get ready to juice them. Before we can juice the cherries, we will pit every one of them. From there, they will be taken to our press and, similar to how we make our apple cider, we will crush and press all our cherries. We will typically run the cherry pumice through the press three to four times (we want to make sure we collect every bit of juice from the cherries). From there we pump the juice into a bulk tank and place it in our freezer until we are ready to start the wine production. The total amount of juice will vary from year to year depending on our crop. This past year we picked roughly 6,400 pounds of cherries for our wine! That’s a lot of cherries! This is truly one of the wines we are most proud of here at Kimmel Orchard, and are very happy with the amount of repeat guests that will come in the spring just to get their bottle of this wine!
I have attached a short video that our awesome intern Janey from last year put together showing the steps of wine production. We also have to give credit and a big thank you to Ron at Whiskey Run Creek, located in Brownville, NE, for producing great wine out of the grapes and fruit grown right here at the Orchard.