This Fall Harvest season is destined to be one of the best on record! And we need it after such a tumultuous year. Despite scorching temperatures and widespread fires in many areas of California, our growers, pickers, packers and shippers are forging ahead. This means that we will be receiving the first shipment of grapes and fresh juice by the second week of September. Northern California, Washington State and Specialty Regions will arrive the around end of September – beginning of October. Our premium ‘Mosti Fresco’ and Italian Specialty Juices are expected the first week of October. Keep in mind that we are dealing with fresh fruit, so these timeframes are subject to change.
As always, we take great pride in providing you with the best grapes and fresh juice available. Due to the Covid Pandemic negatively affecting the efficiency of Customs, the condition of our Spring Harvest grapes were not as good as we usually see. Spoilage is easy with fresh fruit even when refrigerated if it ‘hangs around’ too long. You can be assured that all of our Fall Harvest offerings will arrive in ‘top shelf’ condition. We take great pride in providing you with fresh grapes and juice that has been refrigerated from vineyard processing to right when you pick it up. Our Fall Harvest never sits out on a loading dock.
Whether you purchase fresh grapes or juice, we are there every step of the way (if you need us) to help you make the best possible wine. We provide detailed, step by step instructions that clearly lay out how we recommend you ferment your selection. We offer testing equipment and kits to ensure success. Look for our ‘ADVANCED WINEMAKING’ class where we show you the entire process from start to finish. Make wine the ‘real way’ – purchase grapes and use our CRUSHER/DESTEMMER and PRESS to help you get started.
Fall Grapes come in 36 lb containers called ‘Lugs’. It takes 75 lbs (two lugs) to make 5-6 gallons of finished wine. When making larger batches, we recommend 175 lbs (five lugs) per each 12 gallons of finished wine. The grapes are carefully packed in wooden or plastic containers, then sprayed with a low amount of Metabisulfite solution to ensure freshness.
Fall Juices come in six gallon pails and are available in two packing styles. Even though the juice is refrigerated, fermentation can occur.
The ‘Juice Only’ style comes from grapes that are simply crushed, destemmed and pressed. Metabisulfites are added to prevent spoilage. If fermentation occurs before you get it, it will be on ‘wild yeast’, which is not always a good idea. Most of our customers who purchase the ‘Juice Only’ products do so because certain varieties are not available in the “Mosti” line. Another reason is that when making larger batches and ‘Blending’ varieties, you can add a single yeast strain and be sure that there are no competing strains.
The premium ‘Mosti Fresco’ style is initially processed like the ‘Juice Only’ style. The juice is then tested and ‘balanced’, ensuring that the sugar, acid and pH levels are correct – then it is inoculated (pitched) with the proper yeast. Different varieties may be inoculated with different yeast strains.
Though a little more expensive, the ‘Mosti Fresco’ style is the most popular – we definitely recommend this style for new winemakers. The ‘Juice Only’ style also produces exceptional wines, but we recommend testing and balancing before fermenting.
REGION BY REGION
In last year’s blog we covered general information about LODI, CENTRAL VALLEY, LANZA-SUISUN / PASO ROBLES / CONTRA COSTA regions and WASHINGTON STATE.
This year, we are pleased to bring you grapes from METTLER FARMS for the first time. They are a family owned, hundred plus year old vineyard that produces an exceptional product. All their offerings are worth a try, but for something different look at ROUSANNE, GRENACHE and ZINFANDEL.
Once again, we have PINOT NOIR from the Russian River Valley and CABERNET SAUVIGNON from the Sonoma Attwood Ranch. For the first time, we offer a fantastic MERLOT from the Geyserville region – don’t miss this one if you dig a more ‘fruity’ wine style.