Turning fresh, juicy peaches into homemade wine is a fairly simple process that requires minimal equipment and just a few key ingredients. You can use both the white and yellow varieties of peaches. Once your wine is made, letting it rest for three months or longer before drinking it will yield the best taste.
Preparing the Peaches
To make peach wine, you need 2 ½ pounds of peaches -- about 10 -- to 2 pounds of sugar. You also need about 7 pints of hot water.
Wash and dry the peaches thoroughly. Quarter them, keeping the skins on, but removing any brown spots on the fruit. Remove the pit and any red flesh that is attached to it. Freezing the peaches for a few days before you are going to use them helps to release their juices. Make sure that they have thawed before using them.
You will need a large, sterilized bucket in which to mash the fruit as well as to mix the wine.
Place the peaches in a food-grade nylon mesh bag and place the bag into the bucket. Mash the fruit, extracting all the juices.
In addition to the fruit, sugar and water, add a few ingredients that will help in the fermentation process that turns the juice into wine.
Use 1 ½ teaspoon of an acid blend to help round out the flavors of the peaches. A Campden tablet -- potassium metabisulfite -- helps to sterilize the wine and keep out any bad bacteria. One teaspoon of pectin enzyme powder ensures that the pectin in the fruit is broken down and does not gel. Adding 1/2 teaspoon of tannin, which is found in red wine grapes, adds body and depth to the wine.
You will also need to add a package of wine or champagne yeast as well as 1/2 teaspoon of yeast energizer to boost the yeast production.
The Blending Process
Boil the water and add the sugar, ensuring that it is completely dissolved. Pour the water over the peach juices in the mixing bucket. Mix all the dry ingredients except the yeast. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Cover the bucket and let the mixture rest for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, mix in the wine yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for five days.
The Fermentation Process
After the mixture has begun to ferment, transfer the mixture into another container to remove the sediment that has collected on the bottom of the container that could spoil the taste of the wine.
Start by pouring the mixture through a fine-mesh colander into another sterilized bucket. This helps to collect any pulp.
Next, use a siphon or rubber hose to transfer the mixture to a clean, sterilized 1-gallon glass jug in a process called racking. Secure the opening of the jug with a top called an airlock. Doing so allows the gases to escape while not letting air into the jug.
Let the wine sit in a cool, dark place and repeat the process in three weeks. Repeat the process in three months.
Better With Age
After three months, transfer the wine into bottles. Use real corks to top the wine bottles. Soften the corks before using by placing them in a steamer basket over boiling water for a few minutes to make them more pliable and easier to use.
Using the siphon, transfer the wine into the bottles and cork them tightly. Place the bottles onto a wine rack so that they lie on their sides. Allow the bottles to age for at least three months before sampling the wine. You can allow the bottles to age for up to a year to allow the flavors to fully develop.
Candi Canncel is a writer covering food and drinks, travel and lifestyle. Her work has appeared on Food and Wine Travel, Craft Gossip, Belltown Local and other publications. She also teaches cooking classes and hosts food/wine seminars.