Last year we made apple wine with cider we purchased at a local orchard. This year we decided to press the apples ourselves to convert into wine. Unfortunately for us, it was a terrible year for wild apples, so we had to buy them all for this project. We'd hoped to be able to pick apples both in the urban area where we live and also out in the country from abandoned trees, but an early warming followed by a frost meant no wild apples this year — not even crab apples, which would have added a nice tartness to the flavor.
First order of business was to cut up the four bushels of apples that Jim bought at the orchard.
Then we put them through the grinder to chop them up further.
Finally, into the press!
Luckily it was a beautiful day, so we could enjoy the sunshine out on the deck while we worked. And it was work. We spent nearly eight hours making five gallons of cider!
It was so delicious that we couldn't resist having a glass to enjoy our efforts. The rest went into a glass carboy on the kitchen table, where it will ferment for a while.
Eventually Jim will rack it, and it will go to the basement to sit until February or so, when we bottle.