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Federweisser. Does it exist here?

Chuckles the Clone Dec 16, 2008 07:24 PM

With the days seeming like actual autumn lately, I'm reminded of one of the tastiest of all possible autumn drinks. Federweisser. Sold in plastic jugs from the backs of trucks and at farmstands across the wine-producing areas of Germany, it's white grape juice that's been fermented for only a couple of weeks. Sweet, fizzy, with alcohol up to about 5%. Traditionally accompanied with onion pancakes. The combination of sweetness, sneak-up-on-you alcohol, and onions tends to produce fabulous hangovers and legendary intestinal distress. But it's -so- worth it.

Since it's made out of excess, low quality grapes that were never going to be decent wine anyway, and the central valley is nothing if not excess, low quality grapes, there must be someone making something similar, no?

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  1. Melanie Wong RE: Chuckles the Clone Dec 16, 2008 07:55 PM

    If it were available locally, it would be at the beginning of harvest. So, you'll need to plan for next year.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      PolarBear RE: Melanie Wong Dec 17, 2008 07:23 AM

      If one is willing to drive up to the WA wine country about 30 mi south of Yakima, mark your calendar for next fall at Steppe Cellars

      Federweisser and Zwiebelkuchen
      October 11, 2008
      Sunnyside, WA, USA
      Email: alamosp@visityakima.com
      Website: http://www.steppecellars.com
      Info Phone: 509-837-8281
      The newly fermenting Gevurztraminer (Federweisser) is served with traditional German onion cake (Zwiebelkuchen). A tradition with a twist as we also serve German sausage, salad and dessert followed by music and dancing in the tasting room.

      also take a look at

      Scroll down to Rattlesnake Hills October 2008 Edition (@ half way)

      1. re: PolarBear
        Chuckles the Clone RE: PolarBear Dec 18, 2008 03:58 PM

        Wow thanks. It's a little far away but maybe a bit easier to get to than the Rheingau.

        Have you been? Maybe if we just talk about it for a while one of our local winery
        people will notice and think, "hey, I could do that."

        1. re: Chuckles the Clone
          PolarBear RE: Chuckles the Clone Dec 18, 2008 04:50 PM

          Unfortunately haven't tried it, when we lived in Germany I wasn't aware of it and likewise on my one and only visit to Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel OR.

          Like you said, we have a plethora of cheap grapes here in the central valley, seems like we should be able to get someone to roll the dice.

          1. re: Chuckles the Clone
            Melanie Wong RE: Chuckles the Clone Sep 12, 2009 03:23 PM

            Hmm, this topic seems to have been snipped while I was doing research for you. In the East Bay, you can order wine grapes from Oak Barrel in Berkeley. 100# min, and you can pay to have them crushed and pressed for you. One ton yields from 100 to 150 gallons of juice.


            1. re: Melanie Wong
              Chuckles the Clone RE: Melanie Wong Sep 13, 2009 08:17 AM

              I think the conversation got snipped because they might have thought that guy was shilling for his home federweisser kit (which actually seemed like a useful convenience and not a bad deal for micro-scale fermenting ...)

              So it looks like the prices are about $13/gallon with a 12 gallon minimum, roughly. It might be a bit late this year to plan at that scale -- 12 gallons would make for a pretty large party -- but next year definitely!

              1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                Melanie Wong RE: Chuckles the Clone Sep 13, 2009 10:52 AM

                Think about buying the juice and freezing a portion to ferment later or drink some fresh & unfermented. Go in with rworange. Or you have to wait till next august.

      2. r
        rhw168 RE: Chuckles the Clone Sep 29, 2010 03:12 PM

        Just came back from a trip to Prague and Munich and had my first taste of Federweisser (or burčák in Czech) and it was wonderful!

        So I started digging for a place that makes/sells it near home and finally found a place close to home that offers this wonderful elixir, but only for ONE day (during the grape harvest time, naturally).

        Here's the info:


        Oktoberfest Wine Country Lunch at Schug Winery (Oct. 17
        )A Harvest Celebration wine country style inspired by Walter Schug’s home region of the Rheingau.
        Enjoy Federweisser (fermenting white wine from the barrel)& Zweibelkuchen (savory onion cake) along with traditional German fare and live Polka music!
        Oct 17, 2010 11am to 4pm. Advance reservations required.
        Schug Winery
        602 Bonneau Road,
        Sonoma CA 95476

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