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Rancio is the Catalan word for rancid - but don't let this put you off. It's a reference to a traditional production method, not the flavour of the resulting wine!
Stevns cherry is an indigenous Danish variety with a sharp taste, often referred to as the Nordic grape. The cherries are grown in the Estate orchards and harvested late to allow the full development of the complex cherry flavours.
After picking, the fruit is fermented on the skins and stones using natural yeasts. The wine is then decanted into 25 litre carboys and left outside in the sun for a year. This replicated a traditional technique that has been used for centuries in the production of Port, Madeira and Banyuls. The wine is then transferred to old cognac barrels and left to mature for a further 12 months before bottling.
Rancio can be enjoyed on its own, or complements a variety of sweet and savoury dishes: try it with chocolate, nuts, prunes and strong cheeses; venison, hare and chicken livers.
The Frederiksdal Estate is located on the western shore of the Danish island of Lolland. Winters here are mild and followed by an early spring. In summer the sun reflects off the water to aid the ripening of the cherries.
Harald Krabbe, owner of the Frederiksdal Estate used to sell his cherries for juice until a chance encounter with Jan Friis-Mikkelsen, a chef, and journalist Morten Brink Iwersen. They discussed the Danish tradition of cherry wine and ideas for employing modern techniques to produce a more interesting and sophisticated product. The reviews and awards they have since received for the resulting range of Frederiksdal Kirsebærvin suggest that those early discussions have had a very successful outcome
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