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Another Newb question: Why juice kits?

Wine Making Talk

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keqwow

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Okay, this is my ignorance talking, but I am curious why one would make wine from the juice kits that are offered? It seems like most of the work has been done for you...you just add it all in the bucket and wait. Kind of like baking a cake from a box. I can see this working out well for the 1st batch or two just to keep a beginner's enthusiasm up so he continues with the hobby, but I would think after those first couple of batches it would seem more rewarding to actually 'make' your own wine. I realize not everyone can grow their own grapes, but I would think you could go to a local winery and purchase grapes/juice from them and then you add things yourself and experiment?? Maybe I am just crazy...I appreciate anyone's insight though, as I am just a beginner and don't really know what I am talking about.....
 

Tom

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1st welcome,
If you want to make wine from grapes you can. Problem is Wine grapes are in season just a short time. Same thing if you want to go to your local winery. What if you wanted to make a Merlot in February? You can't. So,Kit manufactures buy their juice, concentrate it and make kits.
Thats also why you will see during the summer this forum HUMS with info on fruit wines.
 

cpfan

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kegwow:

I don't think that very many commercial wineries sell their grapes/juice. I have never asked, but I have also not heard of anybody buying from them.

In the US, some 'wineries' are actually selling wine made from kits.

Steve
 

smurfe

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Probably the main reason is lets say for example I want to make a Merlot. It is quite a drive to a winery to buy some juice. Maybe around 1500 miles or better one way. :) In other words, it allows you to make the wine you want. You are not limited to what is local. If I had to do that it would be only Muscadine wine and I do not like Muscadine wine. It would be very difficult as well as expensive to have fresh grapes shipped to South Louisiana and be viable as well.
 

Wade E

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Another thing is that not all states offer good Merlot Or Cab. Those are not grown in Ct. cause they would be horrible as the climate here doesnt work well for that grape and vice versa with many varietals. We have about 18 wineries in Ct. and most of them only produce a nice white wine and maybe 2 of those can produce a red which would be a Cabernet Franc and even that is blended with juice for out of state. You can buy grapes when they are in season but not all of us can afford to buy the equipment needed to do the crushing and destemming or press to get the precious juice from those grapes.
 

Tom

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Good point on the equipment you need for making wine from grapes. The destemer and crusher are $$$ + alot of us just dont have the room to store it all.
 

smurfe

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Good point on the equipment you need for making wine from grapes. The destemer and crusher are $$$ + alot of us just dont have the room to store it all.
Or even a place to rent them from.
 

MN-winer

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The other thing here is that, yes - it can be relatively easy to make a kit wine and have it turn out great, but there are ways to tweak a kit to make it more to your liking. Add an oak spiral, extra fruit, blend kits etc. I personally am enjoying working with kits, but I can see already I want to try more experimentation. Doing a few kits has given me the confidence to learn more about "real" wine making.
 

Malkore

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For a number of people the 'local winery' could be 1,000 miles away. One member here lives in northern Alaska.
 

keqwow

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I guess I sometimes forget that the local winery isn't next door for some people. I am a bit spoiled living in Ithaca, N.Y. Kind of central for the Finger Lakes wine region. Would you believe I can't find anyone in Ithaca (or even within 20 miles of Ithaca) that sells wine making supplies?!? I would have to drive about an hour away to find anything, and I am not even sure what they offer.
 

cpfan

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As I am spending a couple of nights in Henrietta NY (on I90 south of Rochester and pretty close to the Finger Lakes) and may do a little touring around the Finger Lakes tomorrow and Friday, I gotta ask...where do you get wine making supplies an hour from Ithaca???

Steve
 

B-well4200

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Okay, this is my ignorance talking, but I am curious why one would make wine from the juice kits that are offered? It seems like most of the work has been done for you...you just add it all in the bucket and wait. Kind of like baking a cake from a box. I can see this working out well for the 1st batch or two just to keep a beginner's enthusiasm up so he continues with the hobby, but I would think after those first couple of batches it would seem more rewarding to actually 'make' your own wine. I realize not everyone can grow their own grapes, but I would think you could go to a local winery and purchase grapes/juice from them and then you add things yourself and experiment?? Maybe I am just crazy...I appreciate anyone's insight though, as I am just a beginner and don't really know what I am talking about.....
I kind of feel the same way about kits but like everyone has said, it is very hard to get the grapes you want during all seasons and so on. I have never used a kit before. I find that I get great satisfaction from actually breaking a sweat. I like to make friut wines so most of the time I pick the fruit I am using. For some reason, I like to see how cheap I can make wonderful wine. That is another reason I have never used a kit. But consider making friut wines if you don't want to use kits, its very rewarding.
 

Wade E

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I make everything and will eventually make the move to grapes. I have the press now but still need the crusher. They arte small versions but work just fine, you just need to load them a few times. I have made 1 batch of chilean cab/zin that is bulk aging as we speak. I will adjust the tannin levels soon with tanCore tannins.
 

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