As independent study project, juniors Melissa Aellen and Gillian Trimber are turning pumpkins into wine.
They peeled, chopped and milled cooking pumpkins at the teaching winery at Cornell Orchards. Then they mixed the pumpkin with enzymes to break down starch and pectin, and added sugar and water. “We’re planning to add different levels of sugar after fermentation to see what tastes best,” says Melissa, who got the idea for making pumpkin wine while working at a Midwest winery last summer.
After fermenting for about three weeks, they’ll bottle the results. “If this works out, we plan to fine-tune our recipe next fall, and try adding spices before we bottle it,” says Gillan.