Premium Swedish wine? We have recently had the chance to make wild berry wines, specifically some bilberry wine in this northern paradise at Idunn Winery. What a wonderful experience this has been and it’s worth sharing! Swedish wine has a mystique that is about to become known by all discerning wine lovers.
Amongst other nature delicacies, wild berries have always been an important part of the Swedish diet. Innumerable health benefits associated with daily consumption of berries do not require further proof. It is the fusion of those realities, combined with an infinite passion for Swedish bilberries that brought Li Holmberg and Lars Normark to embark on the wonderful adventure of IDUNN; a Nordic wild bilberry winery.
IDUNN winery is creating premium bilberry wine to bring awareness to the berries’ tradition, sustainability and health benefits. Their quest to create perfect bilberry (similar fruit to blueberry) wine began in 2012, when, after harvesting bilberries with friends and family, they crafted their first batch of wine at home. The result was so delightful that they continued elaborating and exposing their creation to more and more people, with tremendous positive feedback and increasing interest.
The natural progress of the project and the desire to scale up production happily brought me to Norsjö! Li and Lars were both fantastic hosts. The scenic beauty of the region viewed through the midwinter, Nordic light was stunning. The local cuisine of mostly locally sourced ingredients was delicious and bilberry wine is surely a complementary addition to Swedish gastronomy and lifestyle.
Bilberry wine, Different than Blueberry
Compared to the Canadian wild blueberry, bilberries are smaller and darker with an almost black flesh and slightly more intense flavour. It should also be noted that the entire production is wild foraged as the bilberry is not easily cultivated in the same way, for example, high bush blueberries are, therefore reinforcing the unique terroir and sustainability of the project. Once fermented, the result is highly reminiscent of an Italian Sangiovese; from its herbal aromas expressing dried flowers, smoke, coffee, and black cherries, to its moderate body and high tannic structure that can be enjoyed now or aged.
With bottling scheduled for May, it won’t be too long before IDUNN fine wines reach the local and European market.
It’s a very exciting time for Li and Lars and we look forward to our next visit to IDUNN!