How should fruit be stored until it is ready for use?
You can freeze the fruit until you are ready to use it.
Just place it in a zip lock bag and try to get as much air out as possible. Then simply toss the fruit into the freezer until you need it. Fruit will store very well in the freezer, however, try to watch out for freezer burn, which will make the juice taste funny and be very apparent in the wine.
Sometimes by freezing the fruit you are able to achieve a better juice extraction at pressing time.
This is usually due to the wall of the fruit breaking down when frozen. As the fruit is brought back to room temperature the fruit wall stays a little softer making it easier for the fruit to be pressed.
If you are like a lot of people that get too much fruit at once and can’t use it all, place the fruit in the freezer so you can enjoy it later.
Keep in mind that when making wine we are only concerned about the fruit not being oxidized, and any bruised parts being removed before pressing. What the fruit looks like should not be of concern.
You can also buy frozen fruit at the grocery store if you are a little short for your batch.
We have had many customers freeze their fruit and make excellent wines this way. After all the work of growing your fruit all summer long, it would be a shame to see it go to waste. Nothing says “family tradition” like making raspberry wine on Christmas day. Yep, we’re from Minnesota. What else are you going to do when it is freezing outside?