Grapes / Juice pails purchasing

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dcbrown73

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So, I want to make my first wine from grapes (or at least juice pails) and I was reading on a place that sells them nearby.

We have frozen must from our 2011 through 2015 premier grapes. The grapes have been crushed, de-stemmed, nitrogen purged, cold soaked and then frozen. This is a top of the line product and there are single varietals from Napa, Suisun Valley, Paso Robles, Amador and Lodi. We will be offering ½ gallon bags of these musts that can be added to a 6 gallon pail of juice. Adding the grapes to the juice during fermentation will give your wine more flavor, color, tannin and aroma and many wine makers have used these musts in the last 2 years to enhance their wines. The cost of the must is $14 per ½ gallon bag.

From 2011? Is that right? Should I shy away from something like that?

Also, I see people buying juice pails and grapes so they get skins for also. You do this vs buying all grapes?

So many questions. I need to find a from grapes winemaking runbook or something.
 

jburtner

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I guess it depends on what you want or have available. If you buy juice buckets then it is maybe processed and blended like a kit but maybe also fresh pressed and frozen so just read the product details. If it's processed then you might want to add fresh crushed grapes or pre crushed and destemmed frozen grape must. You can get fresh grapes from somewhere and crush/destem them yourself or order frozen buckets of freshly crushed grape must too.

Seems like folks that work with fresh or frozen must also like to keep their pressed skins (pomace) in the freezer and add them into a kit wine or even just use them again to impart flavor. Itallian ripasso wine is a second pressing of the skins used in amarone but the pressed skins will retain some flavors and tannins. In italy they also will referment on the pressed skins and distill a spirit called grappa which is quite good and also available in different varietals.

I had one "kit" that came in a 23L bucket of juice. Mosti Mondial Amorosso was the product. No skins. It was a processed blended kit style juice. Not frozen - I added their all grape pack of skins. I also purchased two buckets of frozen chardonnay juice. Not processed kit style - fresh crushed destemmed and pressed then frozen.

Sounds like these were from 2011-2015 harvests and were crushed destemmed and frozen. Interesting and accessible product as a kit additive in 0.5 gallon sizes.

I think of sorta it like spaghetti sauce. Ragu, fresh tomato's, canned tomato's, store bought/home canned, paste in a tube or a can, restaurant made, plus maybe some other ingredients or just add a couple tomato's into some ragu and turn the chianti upside down a couple times into the pot and a couple more times into chef's glass :)

Cheers!
-johann
 

kevinlfifer

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If the frozen must has been sealed from air and kept very cold (sugar is an antifreeze), It probably wont matter how old it is. I always add something to the juice buckets to bump them up.
In order of preference:
Fresh Grapes, -- Alacante, Corinth, Cab Sauv, ...
Frozen grapes
Marquette Cake from a winery down the road
Raisins or Zante currents

I always oak reds

Here is my thread on larger scale wine from juice. It covers 2 yrs of production. I get drums in the fall and buckets in the spring.

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51115
 

geek

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I think you refer to Maltose Express, that is what they do.
Those "grape packs" should be fine.
If it were me, I'd buy 5 18lbs lugs from Chile coming in May, that would roughly give you 6 gallons of wine which would be sufficient for racking down to 5 gallons along the process.
This would be a bit more money than buying a juice bucket and grape pack obviously but the end product would be worth the cost, at least for me.
Maltose don't destem or crush grapes in Spring so you'd do this yourself like I've done it. A bit tedious doing it by hand though but it's fun and it's a small batch.
I've used a wooden tool I use for punch downs and it works quite well compared to the mash potatoes way.
 

geek

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BTW - if you go the juice bucket way, I'd rather buy a 18lbs lug of grapes and use this instead of the grape pack they sell. You could try this as a head start instead, so 1 juice bucket mixed with 18lbs of fresh grapes.
 

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