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Blåbärsvin part of a new (old) tradition

do you Remember when granny went down into the basement to stop the sugar cubes in the large carboys filled with berries that they would ferment better? Fruit and bärviner has a long history in Sweden. Safta, brawn and ferment long walked hand-in-hand. Instead of the grapes, and made wine of it, which was in the forest and, over time, refined the recipes, but without becoming commercial products.

Thanks to the recent years the renaissance of the american apple juice and cider is once again the place for bärvin. After several years of experimentation, decided Lars Normark and Li Holmberg in Skellefteå in order to fully invest in wine made of blueberries.

– There is a preconceived view that blåbärsvin should be sweet. In the past there were so-called ”solvin” in the north of sweden. They were sweet with around five per cent alcohol and made for home use. But what we wanted to achieve was a dry kvalitetsdryck comparable with wine, " says Lars Normark, who together with Li, Holmberg is behind the label Rålund.

the perfect wine of blueberries was hired a consulting winemaker and a sommelier from Canada. Together, they found a manufacturing process that gave the results they were looking for. To a bottle Rålund used 285-335 grams of blueberries which, unlike grapes do not need to be pressed. The berries arrive frozen and thawed before they are allowed to ferment with a carefully selected vinjäststam. After 20-25 days, the wine is fermented out completely dry, and be sweetened up a bit before it is filtered. Finally, the wine is stored for a month in the tank before it is bottled and stored clear of the bottle.

”We wanted to provide a dry kvalitetsdryck comparable with wine”, says Lars Normark, who together with Li, Holmberg is behind the label Rålund. Photo: Fredrik Funck

– the Blueberries we buy is wild and properly cleaned. They are small with thick skins, which makes the taste more intense and bring the wine more tannins, " says Li Holmberg who gladly points out blåbärsvinet as a climate-smart and sustainable choice, with less impact on the environment than a wine of the grapes.

From a commercial perspective, there is the advantage that the production is quick and can be done all year round. Access to frozen blueberries are great and there is no requirement to årgångsbestämma wines. What limits production today is the size of the jäsningskaren, but larger tanks are already ordered.

" We just got out of that Hall created a right based on our wine Rålund Exclusive to a banquet. So now we are working on that, even the Banquet shall dare to take wine of blueberries in december, " says Li, Holmberg.

launched on a temporary basis in march along with two other wines in the order line. Smakmässigt reminds the wines very much about red wine from Beaujolais with a clear blåbärsprofil and rigour. Most likely they will develop more complexity with further flasklagring.

– the Next step is to test the storage in oak barrels and see how it will be, perhaps even in the Swedish barrel. And so are the forests here full of other berries that we need to test, " says Lars Normark.

Bedstedkilde, Grythyttan cloudberries and Brännland iscider.

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