Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by pgentile, Jan 11, 2018.
Let's get some Petite Manseng this year.
Does Cynthiana sound sexier, another name for Norton.
Working on it as well as Tannat and PV. My first wine class is tomorrow so I'll really get to know the winemaker.
That should be a lot of fun.
Living in Europe I can confirm that grapes from the field prices are often very low for most growers.
And a lot of land has been removed from grape production. But, it is also important to know that the EU pays land owners to both remove grapes and plant grapes. So land taken out of grape production may not remain that way for very long. In effect, the EU grant/subsidy system often works against itself.
I may be a snob, but I feel the same way.
OK you snobbies, where is your sense of adventure. You can go to just about any thread and come to the conclusion this hobby is all about adventure and trying new things. I think that is why it is so addicting, we get to be creative.
It's just below my wallet.
I've tried (and made) a lot of new wines over the last few years thanks to this hobby. But, if I have a fixed, small budget, and my choices are a.) craft a wine I believe I'll like and venturing out; and b.) making wines I wouldn't buy commercially (and have no idea whether I I'll be happy with it), I'm going with the former every time.
Good point, for me my limited exposure to wine forces me to take some risk. Fortunatley, to date, I've never had a red I disliked enough to black ball it so I feel I'm pretty safe there.
I can't speak for Frontenac, but around Missouri and Illinois Norton can be found all around. Much life most grapes, there are good and bad examples. You should certainly try one sometime. Chambourcin is another very tasty wine. I make wine from both of these grapes, partially for cost reasons. I can get those grapes at $0.75-1.00 / lb crushed and destemmed. Partially, cause they make very good wine.
One I really would love to get my hands on is called Crimson Cabernet, cross between Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon. It hasn't been released for long, so not many growers, but it will be great once there are more.
I know a place East of Harrisburg that is growing some Sangiovese (don't know the price for grapes) and a place near Carlisle that grows Chardonnay. Plus Harford where we get the grapes and juices offers local MD Merlot in the fall. I imagine somewhere a winery up in the Lehigh Valley has to sell some Cabernet Sauvignon, they sell enough of those wines, I guess there are a few valleys that have a micro climate that stays warm enough in the winter that they can survive, much like the Finger Lakes in NY and the few mile wide strip up along Lake Erie.
Cynthiana and chamoricin are local wines I have had. Yet they don’t peak my interest in making my it. I do enjoy being adventurous in bottles I purchase tho.
As Jgmann67 pointed out, our $$, equipment, space, and time limits us to how many batches we can make in sept/oct. So with just a couple batches personally I prefer to go with the heavyweights. No offense to local grapes tho- they should understand.
So excluding local grapes (just for making ) and buying macro bins amongst a group (<—not off the table-we’ll talk about this later ) what do you think is going to be the best quality grapes we are able to get our hands on for the value? Note- likely will not be getting the $120 lugs of cab!
I condensed last year’s menu into 1 file for easy reading. This is probably the most extensive set of options around and I know very close to other large distributors.
Macrobin you say???
Split with enough people would financially make sense. But then we’d all be making 100’s of lbs of the same varietal. I don’t mind that tho.
Enough people live fairly close to each other. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of the first conversation that eventually becomes a winemaking club that purchases 1 ton every year!
Probably our best shot at getting quality stuff for good price. I’m good for 300-500 lbs
If my math on pricing is right, me too.
Ok here is the skinny, there are 3 types of grape growers out there. One is the winery/vineyard owner who keeps pretty much everything he/she grows unless the harvest comes in bigger than expected. These grapes are the premium stuff where the crop has been limited purposefully to generate the highest quality. The second grower is one who basically gets paid premium prices because he/she pretty much follows what the winery dictates. These two growers profit motive is to produce a limited quantity of high priced grapes. Grower number 3 makes his/her profit growing as many tons/acre as the vines will carry, the number one way to produce mediocre grapes is to overcrop them.
Here here, although there will be exceptions, this is my point exactly. I would also imagine there are the #3 growers that take more pride in their fruit then others but how do we know which ones we are getting it from. The terroir vastly dictates the quality of the fruit but conditions do change season to season even though some are more consistent then others. I believe it is misnomer to say perhaps 2017 was a good or bad year. It could have been that in France but quite the opposite in Cali or other regions. The same might be true to the varietal. The conditions required for one fruit might not be the same as another in the same region. When we buy grapes we might be provided with the brix and or ph but there are other factors that dictate what a quality grape is which we just don't know. So my question remains how do we know we are getting quality grapes. Which brings me back to @wxtrendsguy's #1 and #2 growers. If you are able to get grapes from a quality local vineyard I believe you chances of getting quality grapes is very high.
I’m in the Sierra Foothills, about an hour from Napa. I also sell grapes for our community (50-60 tons total). So know some about the going rate. The cost of grapes from the Napa AVA is crazy. Typical price for high end fruit is $6,000 per ton. That will conservatively make 2 barrels or 600 bottles, so it’s $10 per bottle in fruit. A lot for the Home winemaker, not as huge if you are selling your wine for over $100. I doubt this fruit is finding its way to home winemakers.
The cost of grapes in my AVA averages around $1,600 per ton and it will probably go up $100 per ton this year. The most I ever paid was last year, $2,000 per ton for Cab Sauv, an hour south of me out of Amador. What is driving up our cost is the shortage and cost of labor. The minimum wage in CA went to $11/hr and is going up $1/hr every year for the next 4 years. That will be directly reflected in the cost of grapes.
Meanwhile, a bottle of Romanée-Conti can go for $9,000 a bottle.
Personally, I expect a good $15-$20 bottle of Sierra Nevada red would probably be pretty nearly as good.
In a thought experiment, I'd love to know how I would describe a quaff of that in a blind tasting. I would probably write something like: "Very pleasant. Nice minerality, with some fruit, too. Great finish, with a decent amount of astringency and mouthfeel. 8/10."
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