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Fruit and Grape Blends: Tips from the Pros

Ken Korando came to winemaking by way of entrepreneurship. Educated as an electronics engineer, he and a colleague patented technology used to decline balance debit cards – the sort of technology that allows you to use your debit card to pay for a soda in a vending machine or a coffee in a drive-through. He and his wife Ann bought a home and acreage in southern Maryland near Solomons Island in 1998 where Ken started making wine. After September 11, 2001, like many people, he decided to make a lifestyle change and Solomons Island Winery was licensed in 2004. Ken has taken distance-learning classes from UC-Davis in winemaking and served this past year as the Eastern Section Representative for the American Society for Enology and Viticulture-ES. We currently produce four fruit/grape blends for our series called Solomons Island Mist. We tried around nine combinations before deciding on the initial blends: Black Raspberry Merlot, Exotic Fruits White Zinfandel, Green Apple Riesling and Mango Symphony. I would say these blends work best for us because of the flavor profiles they produce, although