Allegheny Shadbush Berries Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Allegheny Shadbush (Amelanchier laevis), also known as Allegheny Serviceberry, is a small, deciduous, eastern native American tree with irregular stems that grows to 25 feet in height. It has a graceful, narrow, upright form. Smooth, gray bark is an identifier, as is its spring foliage, which varies from a delicate pink to purplish-bronze with masses of large white flowers in early spring. In the fall its leaves turn bright copper-orange. It is a woodland tree, preferring well-drained, acid soil in partial shade. Small, purplish-black berries are good raw or cooked, baked into muffins or breads, or made into jelly or wine.

Allegheny Shadbush Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 4 lbs Allegheny shadbush berries
  • 1 lb golden raisins, chopped or minced
  • 2 lbs granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp tartaric acid
  • 1 tsp pectic enzyme
  • 5-6 pints water
  • wine yeast and nutrient

Pick only ripe berries. Wash, destem and crush berries. Heat to low boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Fold top berries under, recover and simmer another 10 minutes. Pour into nylon jelly-bag and allow to drip over primary until pulp is cool. Meanwhile dissolve sugar into 3 cups boiling water and allow to cool. Chop or mince raisins and put in second jelly-bag. Add juice, both jelly-bags, tartaric acid, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrients, and all but 2/3 cup sugar-water to primary. Wait at least 10 hours before inoculating with activated wine yeast. Cover well and set in warm (70-75 degrees F.) place, squeezing bags and stirring twice daily. After 5 days of vigorous fermentation, gently press jelly-bag of Saskatoon serviceberries to extract juice, discarding remaining pulp and seed. Recover and ferment additional five days. Gently squeeze raisin jelly-bag to extract juice, then dicard pulp. Siphon liquid off of sediments into secondary, add remaining sugar-water, top up, fit airlock, and set in cooler (60-65 degrees F.) place. Rack three times at 30-day intervals, adding one crushed and dissolved Campden tablet at time of 1st and last racking. Racking again only if additional sediments have formed. Stabilize, wait 2-3 weels, then rack into bottles. Store in dark place to preserve deep color. May taste after 9 months but improves with age. This is a full-bodied wine. [Author’s recipe.]