Our wine has finally finished fermenting and we bottled it all up, a grand total of 750 pounds (Whew we have a lot of drinking ahead of us). This wine is pure organic wine, no pesticides used during the production of the grapes and no preservatives or chemicals used to make it.
After making the wine we took the leftover grape skins to a distillery to make our homemade ouzo (tsipouro). First you place the grape skins in a copper kettle that has a gas heating element (kind of like a large gas stove) in the bottom, as the skins boil the steam is collected in another copper pipe with water on the outside to cool the steam down and make it into a liquid form. This first step creates Raki, what the Turks and Creteans drink, it has only been distilled once. In order to make ouzo you need to distill it twice, the second time you add anise seeds to give it that licorice taste. We cleaned out the copper kettle with fresh water to get rid of the grape skins and then we added back the liquid that was expelled the first time and added in the anise seeds. Once again we boiled this up and the steam collected was the final product going through the copper pipe is ouzo. We made 88 pounds of homemade ouzo, not much for this year, we still have some leftover from last year. If you would like to buy some the price is 6euros a pound, this is how much it cost to make it, this is why we really don't sell it in large quantity it is better to sell it by the glass at the shop.
Nick explains to me how things are done.
Two of the boiler kettles shown here (one was already used and being cleaned), and the three pipes used to cool down the steam and make it into liquid.
Raki coming out of the cooling pipe.
Looks like water, huh!
The anise to make the final product, Tsipouro (homemade ouzo), and we are all done. At least Arthur and I am, Nick stayed till to 2:30 in the morning to get the final product. It used to take a whole lot longer when the heating system was made with wood and they continually had to put wood chips under the kettles to keep them boiling.