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Spring Grapes and Juice

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mainshipfred

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I was browsing through last springs juice and grapes at Harford trying to decide what I wanted to make this spring. It appears the South African selection is more expensive then the South American. Is it just the additional cost of transportation or is it the quality of the product. Additionally how do you know the quality or even from another thread if you are getting a single varietal or the varietal you are ordering. I suppose you just have to trust the source. Does anyone have any thoughts? I would imagine the later part of this also applies to the fall products.
 

mainshipfred

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My latest mission has been trying to find local grapes from quality vineyards and wineries. My thought from the above is knowing the source would better assure me of the quality of the fruit. A quality winery is going to want to make the best wine possible and harvest the grapes at the right time. I would think bulk exporters might not have the same interest.
 

Boatboy24

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I was also recently browsing - thinking about doing a Stellenbosch Cabernet from SA. Definitely more expensive. I'm also considering a Carmenere/Petite Verdot blend. FWIW, I trust the sources, but agree that harvest might not be ideal due to the constraints of having to bulk ship internationally. However, with the exception of my 2016 Chileans, my experience has been good. And since nobody else that purchased from Harford that year had issues, I assume my problem was caused by the winemaker.
 

mainshipfred

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That's good to know. I'm definately doing a Cabernet and a Malbec. I'm thinking of doing at least 2 others. I all depends on my juice/grape ratio. I'd like to do end up with more then 30 gallons. I have a feeling this fall is going to be a big one for me.
 

mainshipfred

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OK, here is my next question. I understand the romance of making the wine from grapes, but the cost of a juice bucket is around half that of a similar quantitiy of grapes. Is there more to it then the romance?
 

sour_grapes

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OK, here is my next question. I understand the romance of making the wine from grapes, but the cost of a juice bucket is around half that of a similar quantitiy of grapes. Is there more to it then the romance?
You almost can't spell "romance" without "pomace"! :)

I've never made a red-wine juice bucket, so I will defer to others. But aren't they reputed to be thin?
 

pgentile

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OK, here is my next question. I understand the romance of making the wine from grapes, but the cost of a juice bucket is around half that of a similar quantitiy of grapes. Is there more to it then the romance?
Straight up juice bucket against all grapes, buckets in my experience are definitely thinner. The first few wines I made form juice buckets were not my best, later batches got better after adding skins, i try to follow all grape batches with juice buckets reusing the pressed skins. Except for my problem chilean malbec all my grape batches have been better than juice bucket batches. My all grape South African Cab from last spring is one of my best wines to date. I do the buckets because of the cost and don't feel I can handle any more lugs in my micro winery each harvest.
 

Ajmassa

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Picking up “homemade” sauce and meatballs from the store can make for a great dinner.
But nothing like when the extra mile is taken to make the sauce and meatballs from scratch. And the smell permeating from the kitchen all day long! Maybe I’m a romantic
 

Ajmassa

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OK, here is my next question. I understand the romance of making the wine from grapes, but the cost of a juice bucket is around half that of a similar quantitiy of grapes. Is there more to it then the romance?
Ok forget the spaghetti sauce analogy. I suppose everyone’s different. But for me it was just a natural progression. Juice buckets got my foot in the door.
And for some, like my old man, decent juice wine was enough and he was content. For others who get bit by the bug, never satisfied and always working on improving. This year I rented a crusher- took over the driveway. Then rented a bladder press - just did it up. And freakin loved it. Romance + potential. I always looked forward to juice bucket season. But now I feel like a kid on Xmas awaiting grape season.
 

mainshipfred

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Got it, didn't take into consideration with grapes you are fermenting on the skins which probably makes a big difference. Also, you have more control of the process. No telling what would have been added to the juice. Right now I'm thinking of Cab and Malbec with grapes and a Merlot ( I not a huge fan of straight Merlot but it's good for blending) and a white bucket. Can't come soon enough, getting kind of bored just racking and testing. Can't bottle again until February or March.
 

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Along those lines, where does a guy living in Maryland get his hands on Chilean grapes when they become available this spring? I've found Chilean juice suppliers in Annapolis and California grape suppliers in Baltimore, but alas, no Chilean grape suppliers within a reasonable distance...just those far and away in NJ, OH, etc. Any Ideas on getting actual Chilean grapes in the Mid-Atlantic area?
 
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Ajmassa

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. Right now I'm thinking of Cab and Malbec with grapes and a Merlot ( I not a huge fan of straight Merlot but it's good for blending) and a white bucket. Can't come soon enough, getting kind of bored just racking and testing. Can't bottle again until February or March.
Last spring I did a grape cab (my 1st grape) and that cab/merlot blended juice pail. So a pretty good side by side comparison. Did the cab 1st and after a light “butt press” used all the skins in the juice.
So far the juice batch is turning out great. All around very good homemade wine. But even with that juice doing so well it’s clear as day and which one is all-grape when comparing.
 

mainshipfred

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Along those lines, where does a guy living in Maryland get his hands on Chilean grapes the they become available this spring? I've found Chilean juice suppliers in Annapolis and California grape suppliers in Baltimore, but alas, no Chilean grape suppliers within a reasonable distance...just those far and away in NJ, OH, etc. Any Ideas on getting actual Chilean grapes in the Mid-Atlantic area?
Harford Vineyards, north of Baltimore. They are not listing this years grapes or pricing yet but they have last years still up to give you an idea.
https://harfordvineyard.com/
 

mainshipfred

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Last spring I did a grape cab (my 1st grape) and that cab/merlot blended juice pail. So a pretty good side by side comparison. Did the cab 1st and after a light “butt press” used all the skins in the juice.
So far the juice batch is turning out great. All around very good homemade wine. But even with that juice doing so well it’s clear as day and which one is all-grape when comparing.
That's an awesome comparison, thanks.
 

Boatboy24

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Along those lines, where does a guy living in Maryland get his hands on Chilean grapes when they become available this spring? I've found Chilean juice suppliers in Annapolis and California grape suppliers in Baltimore, but alas, no Chilean grape suppliers within a reasonable distance...just those far and away in NJ, OH, etc. Any Ideas on getting actual Chilean grapes in the Mid-Atlantic area?
As Fred said, Harford. Nice people and nice product. They make some pretty good wines themselves as well. I'm a huge fan of their Traminette.
 
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