What’s New at the Market: Hurricane Hills Winery

What’s new at the market this season? Free wine samples Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. from Hurricane Hills Winery. We are absolutely thrilled to have Jesse Newberg and her now year-old business making and selling fruit wine here at the Sequim Farmers Market.

Newberg started making apple wine at home about five years ago when she wanted to use the fruit on her property. “You can only make so many pies,” she says.

Sharing the wines with family and friends started to build up Newberg’s repertoire. She had been working for the Washington Department Fish and Wildlife which was seasonal and the wine business started taking off. After a short stint working in a cubicle for the county, she decided to sink both feet into the winery.

Newberg recently graduated from an 18-month course on enology — the science of wine and winemaking — at Washington State University Extension. “The chemistry was hard,” she says of the course.

She says her true love always has been for the fermentation process and she loves to have a fun way to use all the abundance of produce.

Initially, Newberg’s line of wines consisted of heirloom apple, orchard plum and blackberry — but that has expanded dramatically. She says the most popular is the Strawberry Rain Wine, a sweet wine, although it is currently sold out (with a waiting list) until next season.

At the beginning, Newberg didn’t use any sulfites and she has a couple of wines, the Rhubarb Rose and Blackberry Beet, that are sulfite-free. However, she also wanted to make the sweet wines for which they are essential.

Newberg’s wines run from dry, to semi-sweet and sweet. Of late, the Blackberry Lavender has been a huge hit and Newberg says she sold some 20-plus cases over Sequim Lavender Weekend.

The fruit for the wines are gathered from local sources, strawberries from Cameron’s Farm, apples and plums gleaned and gathered all over and blueberries from Vionville Farm. The fruit is cleaned and then put together in a ratio of water, sugar and yeast.

There are different recipes for different fruits and blends, the starting sugar content of the fruit plays a role. All the wine is heat-pasteurized to reduce chemical additives, it is then run through a series of filters and bottled on site.

Newberg has a lower unit to her Port Angeles home that is a bonded wine facility but not a tasting room. With multiple 30-, 50-, 80- and a 250-gallon stainless steel tanks all on casters to move them around, she keeps the wine fermenting and flowing. Flavors change over the season — soon there will be a spiced apple. In the spring she will have her infamous mixed berry, Shameless Tart wine.

All recipes are approved by the federal government and then you can give your stamp of approval at the market.

Come meet Jesse Newberg and partake of her excellent handcrafted wines.

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