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Sip, Create, Inspire: Home Winemaking as an Artistic Adventure

Sip, Create, Inspire: Home Winemaking as an Artistic Adventure

Unleashing Creativity: Winemaking as an Artistic Hobby

Twelve months ago, I found myself yearning for a new hobby. As my art had become my career, I realised I needed something different to engage my creative spirit. That's when I rediscovered my fascination with the peculiar bottles bubbling away in my dad's garage during my childhood. Being an avid wine lover, it seemed only natural to explore winemaking as a creative medium.

At first, the prospect seemed daunting. The intricate process of winemaking appeared complex and intimidating. However, the more I immersed myself in it, the easier it became. Now, I proudly produce various wines, experimenting with different fruits, blends, and techniques.

It has opened up a world of possibilities and allowed me to try types of wine I would have never considered before. And the best part? At the end of it all, I have a genuinely drinkable product that brings me joy and satisfaction. Little did I know it would also lead to substantial financial savings.

One of the most remarkable aspects of crafting my own wines is the reduction in preservatives compared to commercial wines. This makes them not only delicious but also healthier. Minimising the number of chemicals I introduce into my body is of utmost importance as someone who suffers from chemical sensitivity.

Over time, I have experimented with various ingredients, including citrus fruits that produce a remarkably drinkable Riesling-type wine and even ventured into vegetable-based concoctions that intrigue me. However, my current favourite remains the delectable range of berry wines, with a blackcurrant blend taking the crown. Additionally, I have delved into the world of ports, carefully aging them in my cellar. Among them, a rich Raspberry and Chocolate blend has garnered widespread acclaim, pleasing even the most discerning palates.

You might be wondering why I am discussing winemaking in an art blog.

Here's the connection: as part of my marketing strategy, I have integrated my art into merchandise to build a following and increase my visibility. Although selling wine is prohibited in New Zealand, I have found an ingenious way to share my creations. I give away bottles of wine as gifts but with a unique twist. Each bottle features a label adorned with my artwork, along with my name and contact details. So when someone opens a bottle of my wine among friends, their attention is inevitably drawn to the label. Some even go so far as to carefully remove and collect these artful labels as keepsakes.

Fun Fact: I'm thrilled to share that my Potato 2009 label recently received an honourable mention in an esteemed American label contest.

wine coasters with nz artist Collettes artwork

Set of NZ Wine Art Coasters featuring Collette's Artwork

Philosophy on Making Wine at Home:

  1. Ensure all your kit and equipment have been washed on the same day.
  2. Make a gallon of wine whenever you find a free half hour. Use whatever recipe, method, and ingredients you have at hand. The more wine you have, the better and more popular you will become.
  3. Leave it to mature until you are ready to savour it. Ideally, this should take longer than the fermentation process itself.

While these rules serve as a rough guide, other important points include:

  • If you can't afford it, don't fret. Make do with what you have.
  • If you need it but can't afford it, embrace improvisation. Who needs a wine press when a bucket and a clean foot can do the job?
  • If it doesn't move, ferment it."

The main image for this post is titled "Cocktail Party" by Collette Fergus. It beautifully encapsulates the harmonious relationship between art and the pleasure of enjoying fine wines.

Wrapping it Up

Winemaking has become much more than a hobby for me—it has become a vibrant extension of my artistic journey. Crafting my own wines has allowed me to explore new flavours, experiment with blends, and infuse my art into every bottle. In addition, the joy of sharing my drinkable masterpieces and witnessing the delight they bring to others is truly priceless. So, raise a glass to creativity and embark on your own artistic adventure in the captivating realm of winemaking. Cheers!

Why not check out more articles on my Art Blog, who knows what else you might find!

Posted: Tuesday 9 March 2010


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Don't forget to take a look at more of New Zealand contemporary artist's work in Collette's Online Galleries