The fruit of various North Queensland rainforest trees may be used to make wine. These include Aceratium, Syzygium (Lilli-Pilli) and Diploglottis. However, of all those tried, the best-flavoured wine is produced by the Davidson's Plum (Davidsonia pruriens). It is a full-flavoured, dry, red wine.
2 kg fruit
6 cups sugar
4 litres boiling water
¼ teaspoon nutrient salts citric acid
¼ cup yeast
Clean and chop the fruit. Discard the seeds. Deep freeze (Davidson's Plums are very hard, and by freezing, more flavour is obtained from the fruit).
Different yeasts give different tastes. Suitable yeasts are CW 67 all-purpose, Sauterne, Port, Danish all-purpose, and Burgundy. The CW 67 is easy to make up, and if time is short, can be used without a starter bottle. Make up what is called a starter bottle using the direction on the packet. Keep it in the fridge and bring it out when a batch of wine is to be made.
When removing yeast from the fridge, add a teaspoon of sugar and let it stand in a warm place until it begins to work. Before returning it to the fridge, add the juice of an orange and a teaspoon of sugar, boiled together and cooled.
To start with, you need a bucket, towel, and stocking top. All utensils must be clean. Use meta-bisulphide, 1 teaspoon to 4 litres.
Place fruit and sugar in bucket. Pour over boiling water, stir with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves, cover and cool.
When cool, add yeast and nutrients. Cover. Stir daily for seven to nine days. Keep well-covered in a non-draughty place. Strain into a 5-litre bottle. Airlock.
Store in a cool dark place for six weeks. Strain, taste and airlock for three months.
After three months, strain, taste, and make decision whether to drink or airlock another three months. Some wine can be used in six week if so desired. This depends entirely on your own taste.
Additives such as banana juice, raisin juice, and cold tea (for white wines) add body or give better flavours.
Should the wine be too dry, add sugar syrup made with water in the ratio 2:1. Only small amounts added to the wine can improve the flavour. When topping up bottles from one racking to the next, most people use water, but you may also top up with poorer-flavoured wines to retain the flavour of the fruit used.
DATE: March 1993
* * * * * * * * * * * * *