The cherry harvest began last week. The greater Traverse City area is known (by some) to be the cherry capitol of the country. And, no doubt, there are quite a few acres dedicated to cherry production. The neighboring vineyard also serves as a staging location for freshly harvested organic sweet cherries. They are sorted, packed and stored in walk-in coolers. They will then make the journey down-state to coops, health food stores, Whole Foods, etc. Some of these wholesale accounts demand a picture perfect cherry. With recent rains, many of the cherries split on the tree, others are slightly blemished or have a stem. Granted, some of the cherries do need to be culled, but the minor imperfections are tossed aside as well – some 40% of the total harvest. That’s where we come in. With over 100lbs of culls from a local organic grower we’ve made wine, jam, preserves, frozen cherries, and cherry pie. The wine is inspired by wild fermentation - 32 pounds of cherries added to 12 pounds of sugar dissolved in 4 gallons of water. The croc has a towel over it, but wild yeast will find its way to the sugars and start the process of making alcohol. We hand squeeze/stir the hooch daily for two weeks at which time we’ll transfer to carboys with airlocks and let clarify for a month. The wine will then be racked into bottles and aged for 6 months. Maybe ready for the winter holidays?