Dry Damson Wine Recipe How to Make Damson Wine

Damson Wine RecipeThis simple and easy dry damson wine recipe produces a gallon of the rich wine that has always been one of the most popular of country wines. It should be ready to drink in just 6 months. 

It’s a great wine to make in those years when the damsons are being super-productive and you have a glut. If you don’t have time to make the wine immediately, just bag and freeze the damsons. They will be fine for a few months. When defrosted they will be easier to crush as the freezing and defrosting softens them.

For help and guidance on growing damsons, check out this page on the Allotment Garden web site. How to Grow Damsons

Damson Wine Recipe

Ingredients for Dry Damson Wine Recipe:

  • 4 lb damsons
  • ½ lb sultanas
  • Campden tablets
  • 2 lb sugar
  • Wine yeast
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Water

Method for Dry Damson Wine Recipe:

  1. Remove the stalks from the damsons and rinse.
  2. Put into a fermenting bin and crush. This is strangely satisfying to do by hand. Chop the sultanas and add to the bin.
  3. Pour on 4 pints of water. Add 1 Campden tablet, crushed and dissolved in a little warm water.
  4. Boil all of the sugar in 3 pints of water for 2 or 3 minutes and, when cool, mix into the pulp.
  5. Add the yeast and yeast nutrient and cover and allow to ferment for a week, stirring daily.
  6. Strain and press and return to a clean fermenting bin.
  7. Cover again and leave for 3 or 4 days.
  8. Pour carefully or syphon into a gallon jar, leaving as much deposit behind as possible.
  9. Fill up the jar with cooled, boiled water to where the neck begins.
  10. Fit a fermentation lock and leave until fermentation has finished.
  11. Rack, as necessary, adding a Campden tablet after the first racking.
  12. Syphon into bottles.

Makes 1 gallon of wine which should be ready to drink after just six months. If you can leave it for a year or two it will improve further.

Posted in Country Wines
18 comments on “Dry Damson Wine Recipe How to Make Damson Wine
  1. M Underwood says:

    I found it interesting to note that most recipes tell you to steep the fruit for a few days before straining it off and then adding yeast. I tried brewing some damson wine two years ago and left the fruit in for four days. The resultant wine was so high in tannins it is still not ready to drink. I have just put another brew of the same on but this time I am only leaving the damsons steeping for three days before racking off and then adding yeast.

  2. Terry says:

    Good recipe – I have used this two years on the trot and had a nice wine on both occasions – tripling the recipe for 3 gallons of wine. I use red grape juice concentrate rather than sultana’s to give the wine more body – works a treat – thanks!!

    • Graham says:

      Can you please tell me a: the quantity of grape juice required per gallon of wine and B: do you reduce the amount of sugar added to the must .Thanks

  3. Colin H says:

    Could I use any type of plums?

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Colin
      I don’t see why not – even damsons vary in flavour between varieties and a plum is the same family.
      Let us know how it goes

  4. Colin H says:

    Thanks John.

  5. David Reeve says:

    i know this sounds like a silly comment but do you destone the fruit in stage two or just leave them in

    • John Harrison says:

      Good question, David. Leave the stones as they’ll have flesh attached when you squish up the damsons. You’ll remove them in when you strain the must (item 6)

  6. David Reeve says:

    Thanks John looking forward to this wine in a years time as I have a glut of small damsons/plums this year

  7. mike says:

    Hello. This is my first attempt at this recipe because we have such a huge crop of damsons from the neighbours tree and they kindly allowed us to harvest them. I wanted to ask though about stage 10. What sort of time frame would this take? And for stage 11 do i require a secondary demijohn with an air lock?

    Thanks for the recipe by the way. I swapped sultanas for grapes and it tasted really nice when i siphoned it.

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Mike – fermentation time varies but very roughly 6 weeks.
      I go from a demijohn to another demijohn when racking and then see how it looks a day or two later when it’s settled. It may need racking again and even a third time.

  8. Trevor Mills says:

    Is it possible to put damsons and cherries 🍒 together to make wine 🍷

  9. Lisa says:

    Hi John,
    Stupid question maybe, but could you confirm the quantity of wine yeast & nutrient please?

    • John Harrison says:

      Hi Lisa – usually instructions on how much to use are on the packet but as a general rule, a teaspoon of each. Yeast, being a living organism, will reproduce and be enough in short order. The yeast nutrient isn’t strictly required but it does give that boost to the yeast.

  10. Connie L Bruce says:

    Still finding your recipe to be the only one out there for dry Damson plums in 2020!! We have 2 of these trees left on our farm. So am trying your recipe. I live in Oceana county in Michigan. Also, harvesting honey this fall. My Nuc did amazing. Still bottling but got about 3gallons worth. We have to leave 60-80#s on the hive for the bees to Feed on during winter. So I’m happy usually your lucky if you can take any off the first year.
    **Our wild grapes are in overdrive this year. Made a batch of too sweet wild grape wine.
    Would like to make a dry wild grape batch. Have not came across one yet. If you know of 1 would you be willing to share??
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and precious time.
    Sincere Regards;
    Connie Bruce
    Valley Queen Bee

  11. Claire says:

    The finished wine does taste rich and has a fairly deep colour. But I am disappointed with the amount of sediment, I started off making 5 gallon of wine expecting to.end up with roughly 4 gallon.end product after filtrations. This used a LOT of damsons! However the wine needed rack after rack and even now I’ve bottled it all I’m finding there is sediment in the bottom of every bottle. This never normally happens with the previous damson wine recipe I’ve used 9 years running. Granted this has more damsons per litre basically creating a thicker and richer wine, but I think I am thankful for your recipe and will revert back. Have I done something to cause all this sediment, 2 gallon of sediment out of 5 gallon end strained.product seems very excessive.

    • Tony G says:

      I made elderberry and elderflower wine at my previous house in 1986 and a couple of years later stored a few bottles in a niche at the far end of the cellar of our current house when we moved. I actually forgot about them and discovered them last year! There was a significant amount of sediment but the wine tasted absolutely wonderful. I agree that the appearance doesn’t look good but think about the theatre! At the age of 70 years old my one disappointment is that I won’t be able to repeat the process.

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