The Making of Homemade Cherry Wine:  Step-By-Step Instructions


We're in the middle of making homemade cherry wine. If you've stumbled upon this page, you're probably going to want to go back and start at the beginning (Page One). Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page here and hit the little button that says "Back". That'll take you right back to where it all began.

If you are here after already having visited our first wine making page, GREAT! How is your wine coming along? Write to us and tell us about your adventures, and impart to us your stories about your very own upside-down plastic boys.

We're picking up where we left off, which is after the first racking:

Here we have added the Earl Grey tea tannins and the remaining sugar mixture.  The fermentation process is continuing in the carboys, upon which airlock stoppers have been placed.

Here are the two six gallon carboys as they look on Wednesday, July 7th. The black tea mixture was added on Monday when we did the first racking. Then the air-lock stoppers were placed back on the carboys to let the fermentation process continue. They're bubbling away...

(To where did our darn upside-down plastic boy run off this time?)

Boxes of bottles

We bought several cases of bottles into which we will be putting the cherry wine.

Bag of sealing wax for corks

Here is the sealing wax we will use to seal the bottles one they have been corked.

Soaking the corks - weighted down with dinner plates

The corks are being soaked in the bowl, weighted down by the dinner plates. Soaking the corks before bottling the wine helps to ensure a good seal.

Cherry wine ready for bottling

After several rackings (once a month), the wine was ready for bottling.  We ended up with 12.5% alcohol by volume, and excellent taste.  We were incredibly pleased with the results.

Here is a carboy of cherry wine, awaiting the final racking into the bottles.

Boxes of bottles ready for the cherry wine.

Cases of empty bottles, awaiting the cherry wine.

Corking mechanism

We purchased a corker. Michael mounted it on a piece of plywood.

Vesper helping rack the wine into the bottles.

Vesper helped siphon the cherry wine into the bottles, although she won't be old enough to drink the bottle that we are saving for her until November of the year 2017.

Vesper helping to cork the bottles of cherry wine.

Vesper also helped with the corking of the bottles.

Vesper with the corker.

Here, Vesper is readying a cork for the next bottle.

Vesper with some of the bottles of cherry wine.

Each carboy filled a little over two cases of bottles. Here is Vesper with upside-down plastic boy and the wine from "Bucket #2", as it had been affectinately dubbed throughout the fermentation process.

One carboy drained into the bottles.  One to go.

"Bucket #2" has been bottled. Now on to "Bucket #1".

Cases of bottles cherry wine - Snazzy Bucket Bongo Juice.

Here are the cases and wine-making supplies, after the bottles have been filled. We had each marked for labeling.

Bottles of cherry wine with labels and gift tags.

Vesper designed the labels for our "Snazzy Bucket Bongo Juice". Each label designated the "Bucket" from which it came, with either a #1 or #2 on the label. We made matching gift tags to complete the visual appeal.

Snazzy Bucket Bongo Juice (cherry wine) - Bucket One and Bucket Two

Line-up of some of the bottles. Note the designation of Bucket 1 or Bucket 2.

Another shot of the line-up

Young Vesper even designed the scene so that the bottle of wine on the label is one of our bottles, complete with her label and the continuing "diminishing effect" of another duplicate scene with the same label.

Close-Up of the finished product - Snazzy Bucket Bongo Juice.  2004 Cherry Wine - Bucket 1 and Bucket 2 both shown.

Snazzy Bucket Bongo Juice - 2004

Cherry Wine - Snazzy Bucket Bongo Juice by Xochiquetzal Wines (Michael and Deena Stevens)

Interestingly enough, wine from one "bucket" tasted different than wine from the other "bucket". Michael preferred the taste of wine from Bucket #2, while I liked the flavor of the wine from Bucket #1 (previously called "Jake Wine" because it was the only one with cherries from the Fischer Family farm).

For Christmas dinner, my mother set out twenty small wine goblets for each of the ten guests. In one glass, cherry wine from Bucket #1 was poured. In the other glass, wine from Bucket #2 was added. Ten world renowned wine critics (Okay, so they were really just members of our family) sampled both of the wines. This wine tasting session resulted in a tie. Five of the tasters found Bucket #1 to be the best, while the other half sang the praises of Bucket #2.

All of the wine turned out surprisingly good. We were very pleased with our effort and final results.

Stay tuned: 2005 will produce a batch of blackberry wine (We hope).

Xochiquetzal Wines
 If you enjoyed these web pages on the development of our 2004 cherry wine, try checking out our 2005 blackberry wine.  Click here: 2005 Blackberry Wine by Xochiquetzal Wines

Also, you may want to explore our 2006 strawberry wine pages.  Click here: 2006 Strawberry wine by Xochiquetzal Wines