Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Wine Making > Wine Making from Grapes > Uses for wild grapes?

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Old 09-03-2013, 11:17 AM   #1
kevinlfifer
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Default Uses for wild grapes?

I have a lot of wild grape vines in the ravine. (I'm in the process of killing them, many are covering the entire canopy of trees as high as 50 ft up.).

I am gathering some of the grapes so far about a 5 gallon bucket full of clusters. I rinsed with k-meta, sealed the bucket, allowed 24 hours, then froze them.

NOW WHAT? I was thinking of using them like a grape pack with a Paklab kit. I am open to any suggestions.

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Old 09-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #2
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Also what is the proper terminology for these types of grapes?

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Old 09-03-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
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They are likely vitis riparia if they are growing in the ravines and river banks. The grapes usually are not useful for making wine. They are generally high in acid and lack fruitiness. Have you tasted them? Tested the acid and sugar?

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Old 09-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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I have tasted them and they are very tart/sour. I was wondering if they would add body to a weak kit. I will probably try some with the Vino Italiano Barolo I got for $37.

All opinions are welcome. I'll shut up and listen now.

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Old 09-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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If it is vitis riparia, it will certainly add a lot of acid to the wine but I'm not sure how much body you will gain.

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Old 09-03-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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I've made two batches of wine from wild grapes. One turned out pretty good, one not so much. Best advice used 71B for the yeast and MLF to help with the acid. That was certainly the problem with the batch I did that did not turn out. Either way, it's a marginal attempt.

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Old 09-03-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaniel View Post
I've made two batches of wine from wild grapes. One turned out pretty good, one not so much. Best advice used 71B for the yeast and MLF to help with the acid. That was certainly the problem with the batch I did that did not turn out. Either way, it's a marginal attempt.
Would you please post your recipe? I also have an abundance of wild grapes to use this year.

Thanks Steve
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #8
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Ther's an older gentelman who posted on a different website, can't remember what it was, but he said you need to taste each grape plants grapes and only pick the ones that taste good. I would agree; as i walk my dogs all over, i taste the wild grapes i run across and some taste Ok, even good, others taste like cabbage or grass, not so good. I plan on trying some in a couple weeks, they are almost ripe.

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Old 09-03-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXfanatic View Post
Would you please post your recipe? I also have an abundance of wild grapes to use this year.

Thanks Steve
I wish I could. My log book from that era (going on 10 years ago) lives with the friend I used to live with. Roughly, I would say make sure they are ripe...bring your SG up to 1.090-1.110...don't add any acid. Check your pH, hope it is at least close to 3.3. We used Montrachet back in the day, now I would use 71B.

The one thing we did on the good batch, we froze them solid. Then, still frozen, we ran them through a homemade fruit chopper my father made for us. Being frozen, it stripped the frozen grapes clean from the stems without damaging them and we were easily able to separate the fruit from the stems. Then we thawed the grapes and crushed them.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:19 AM   #10
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If you use them as a grape pack, I would suggest crushing and pressing their juice out, and only using them for skin contact. If the flavor is sour or tart, you definitely don't want that in your wine. You might get some great color from the skins. Though beware as that is also where you get tannin; so you might use it on a tannin-lite wine instead of adding tannin.

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