Frequestly Asked Questions
The following is a list of frequently asked questions we get about our farm and wines.
1. What type of grapes do you use in your Asian pear wines?
No grapes at all. These wines are made from fermented Asian pears or Fuji apples. Absolutely no grapes are harmed in the making of these wines!
2. Are all of your wines sweet? Aren't all fruit wines sweet?
No, actually only one of our wines is a sweet wine. Our wines range from a very dry, lightly oaked Asian pear wine, through two semi-sweet or off-dry wines, to our Spiced Sweet Asian pear wine.
During fermentation, yeast converts sugars in fruit (including grapes which are, after all, fruit) into alcohol. If you allow the yeast to complete this conversion, essentially no sugar remains, hence the resulting wine will not be sweet. Dry wines, by definition, are wines which are not sweet because little if any sugar remains after fermentation. Sweeter wines have some remaining sugar, or sugar that has been added back, often in the form of sweet reserve. Sweet reserve is unfermented juice that was set aside at the time the fermentation was begun, to be added back after fermentation is completed.
3. What is an Asian pear? Is it a cross between an apple and a pear?
Pear trees evolved separately in Europe and in Asia, resulting in different species of trees on those continents. The fruit typically referred to simply as 'pears' in the U.S. are actually 'European' pears. The fruit of the pear trees that evolved in Asia are called 'Asian' pears and are quite different from their European counterparts. Asian pears are generally round not pear-shaped, are firm and crunchy when ripe instead of soft like European pears, and are very juicy.
Asian pears come in a great array of flavors and are typically very sweet when ripe. You may have seen them in the supermarket wearing Styrofoam sleeves to keep them from becoming bruised.
Tree-ripened Asian pears are much more flavorful than those you may have bought in the supermarket. For this reason, commercially-available Asian pears are under-flavored and would be unsuitable for making quality wines. All of the Asian pears used to make wine here at Chestnut Run Farm are grown in our own orchards in Southern New Jersey, and are fully tree-ripened prior to harvesting. Quality wine can only be made from quality fruit!
4. Can you ship me the wine I would like to purchase?
While we do ship within New Jersey, we encourage you to come to the farm or to a wine festival to make your purchases. Shipping adds significantly to the cost of the wine, while coming to the farm or to a festival turns your purchase into an event you will enjoy. Plus, if you come to the winery during a wine trail weekend or attend a wine festival, you will have the opportunity to taste each of the wines and select your favorites for purchase. Check out the Wine Festivals page to find out when we will be in your area. See the Contact Us page to inquire about the price of shipping, or to learn which retailers carry our wines.
5. Should I enjoy these wines chilled?
We recommend chilling each of our wines, but for a winter treat, try our Spiced Sweet Asian Pear Wine Warmed up!
6. How should I store Chestnut Run Farm wines?
Wines are best stored at a constant, cool temperature in the dark. Storing wine where the sun can shine in a window onto the bottles is never a good idea. Although wine-lovers enjoy uncorking bottles, these stoppers really do not seal bottles especially securely. Due to the inconsistent quality of natural corks, we seal our bottles with high-quality synthetic corks. These synthetic corks don't dry out, therefore storing the bottles on their sides is an unnecessary risk. When bottles are stored on their sides, such as in a wine rack, fluctuations in temperature can push wine past the cork causing the bottle to leak wine. When stored upright, the ulage (airspace within the bottle) is against the cork, so air rather than wine will be forced from the bottle when storage temperatures increase. For this reason, bottles of Chestnut Run Farm wine are best stored upright in a cool, dark location.
No grapes were harmed in the making of these wines!
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