Allthough I have all the fancy ingredients in my winemaking arsenal , My two favorite wines are very simple , I got the recipe from an old friend who just passed away at 89 years of age , George was well known for his wines and he had a large cherry / mixed fruit orchard , from which he got all his base ingredients , he had over 60 years experience making wines.
In fact , that's where I get most of my fruit as well.
Here it is:
20 lbs. very ripe cherries , slightly crushed , just enough to break them open , pits still in them.
5 lbs. white sugar
5 gallons water
Any good wine yeast
4 Campden tablets crushed in water
put all in primary fermenter ferment for ten days at room temp , stir daily , strain out pulp and pits , let sit overnight , siphon into carboy with air lock and rack into another carboy when stable , let sit for a week or two and bottle.
The cherry wine seems to clear itself very well without adding any finings of any kind , it is amazing how clear it comes out after just one racking , the solids seem to be very heavy and sink to the bottom easily.
The plum wine is basically the same , just substitute plums for cherries , the plum should be racked several times tho , or cleared with finings , or filtered through a wine filter .(something he used and something I am going to buy soon).
Very good at six months , but even better after a year.
The plums I use are basically free , as I have a tree myself , and there are many wild ones growing around here , cherries can be very expensive , but George would let me pick whatever was remaining on the trees after harvesting , for free , (I would trade him my honey for cherries) , not sure if I will have that privilege from now on as his son runs the show now.
These may sound too simple to be as good as they are , but we have a local winery that makes a cherry wine from the same cherries , his wine is actually much better than theirs , and they have won awards in the BC wine industry.
Sometimes simple can be very good.