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The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 2 – What do I need to get started making wine with fresh juice?

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The Winemaker’s Think Tank? 

Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! :)

What do I need to get started making wine with fresh juice?

When elevating your winemaking to the next level, often sourcing the best ingredients is the most direct path to better results. After getting great base experience using wine kits, the next logical step to wine making greatness is fresh juice. When making this change from wine kits to fresh juice, other ingredients may be needed to ensure the juice will reach its greatest potential as wine. First, evaluate your juice for acid (pH) and sugar (Brix). What are the levels present in your juice? If the Brix level is below 20, you may consider adding sugar to increase the Brix levels to 24-26. What is the pH of the wine? Juice should have a pH greater than 3.1 to ensure a successful fermentation. If the pH is higher than 3.8, consider adding tartaric acid. This will ensure a better tasting wine after fermentation as well as a more stable wine.

The next area to consider is yeast. Certain strains of yeast will amplify certain traits within the finished product of wine such as fruit character, spice notes, or floral notes. The yeast has certain parameters that it will ferment best within, so consult a winemaking expert at Musto Wine Grape to help you select the best yeast strain for your wine. The yeast is the important catalyst that will process the grape juice into wine. The yeast will need certain nutrients to best assist it with its fermentation such as a rehydration nutrient like Go Ferm, and subsequent nutrients to finish out the fermentation process such as Fermaid O and Fermaid K. Musto Wine Grape stocks yeast along with all of the aforementioned nutrients in small packages, designed for the individual buckets of juice. This will give you perfectly measured amounts of products to add to your wine, making proper fermentation simple and with no wasted/unused product.

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com. 

Wine Wednesday: South African Cabernet Sauvignon

As the Spring Wine Grape Harvest Approaches, we thought we would check out some of the wines that South Africa has to offer.

Today we tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon. #HappyWineWednesday

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WINE: Bob’s 2013 Overnight Express South African Cabernet Sauvignon

TASTING NOTES: On the nose are notes of raspberry, berry, flint, and oak. The palate is filled with flavor, yet soft supple tannins round out the mouthfeel nicely. A great wine to enjoy with grilled meats or a meaty pasta dish.

VITUCULTURE: The soil where these grapes were grown is considered “Clovelly, Stony Glenrosa soils”. Clovelly is a component derived from granite, usually red to yellow colored. It contains acidic compounds. It is found on mountain foothill slopes and on ranges of hills, with good physical and water retention properties. Glenrosa soils are typically compact, stony, and clean cut.

WINE REGION: Western Cape, 31 miles East of Cape Town

GEEKY THINGS: Wines from the Western Cape are where some of our Cabernet Sauvignon will be arriving from. Wines from these locations are often described as having a subtle mineral note which many believe is from the decomposed granite soils. The Granite Mountains are approximately 600 million years old, over 3 times as old as the soil in Napa where many of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines are grown.

Click to Download Tasting Notes

More information about our South African Grapes are on our blog. Check out the most recent “2017 South Africa Harvest” by clicking HERE.

Cheers!

The Musto Wine Grape Staff

2017 South Africa Harvest

Spring season is almost upon us and we have some great news.  This year we will not only be offering Pinotage from South Africa, but…

Wait for it…

Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa too!!

Also, we have additional higher-end regions where we will be sourcing our South African grapes.  In addition to the Breede River Valley we will also offer grapes from Stellenbosch, Olifantsriver, and the Cederberg Mountains.

Beautiful vineyard landscape, panoramic view on a great vine valley, autumn season, wine industry in South Africa

Stellenbosch:

Location: Western Cape, 31 miles East of Cape Town

Grapes Being Sourced: Cabernet Sauvignon

Grower Information: A meticulous vineyard manager, this Cabernet has intense fruit flavors.  The grapes create full, rich, complex wines that age well.

Geeky Facts:  “Wines from these locations are often described as having a subtle mineral note which many believe is from the decomposed granite soils. The granite mountains are approximately 600 million years old, over 3 times as old as the soil in Napa where many of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines are grown.” (via Wine Folly)

 

Olifants River:

Location:  One of the Northernmost wine regions in South Africa’s Western Cape. It spans 90 miles between Lutzville in the North and Citrusdal Valley in the South.

Grapes Being Sourced: Cabernet Sauvignon

Grower Information:  The grapes thrive in the hot, dry mesoclimates and are tempered by cool ocean breezes at night and good cold units during winter. These growing conditions make the perfect recipe for good quality Cabernet Sauvignon.  Also, you will find pockets of very old, almost ancient vines in this area. Vines were first planted in this area in the 1700’s

Geeky Facts:  The Olifants River is named for the elephants that roamed the region in the 18th Century. (via Wine Searcher)

 

Cederberg Mountains:

Location:  186 miles North of Capetown. The Cederberg mountains contain a nature reserve. The mountain range is named after the endangered Clanwilliam cedar, which is a tree endemic to the area.

Grapes Being Sourced: Pinotage

Grower Information:  These Pinotage grapes are from older vines and are cultivated at the highest altitude in South Africa. You can expect intense flavors with high levels of complexity. These grapes produce excellent Pinotage and can be compared to Napa and Sonoma in terms of quality.

Geeky Facts:  The mountains are noted for dramatic rock formations and San rock.

Grapes in South Arican Wineyard 2015

The Pinotage grapes should be arriving towards the end of March and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes should arrive at the end of April.  We are expecting more information about crop estimates, clones, yeast pairings, photos, and more. So stay tuned for more updates! Cheers!

 

 

The Winemaker’s Think Tank: Vol 1- Why is My Wine Fizzy?

 

Wine expert testing wine silhouette image

 

The Winemaker’s Think Tank? 

Every Thursday we will post about a few frequently asked questions that our winemaker has answered. If you have a winemaking question you would like to have answered, please email us at support@juicegrape.com and we will try to get into next week’s post. Cheers! :)

 

Why is my wine fizzy?

Wine may be fizzy for one of two reasons: trapped gas within the wine leftover from fermentation, or a re-fermenting wine. Yeast exudes two substances upon fermentation: alcohol and carbon dioxide. Often times, carbon dioxide is exuded in such small bubbles that the weight of the liquid wine is too heavy to allow the gas to escape. This gas can easily be discharged through a process called degassing. Degassing involves the extreme agitation of the wine via stirring or pumping over. If you own a pump, you can set up the hoses in a circuit, and pump over vigorously to allow the gas to escape. You can also buy a degassing stirring wand that attaches to a cordless power drill. Simply attach it to the drill, place in the wine, and stir. The agitation will allow any trapped bubbles to rise to the surface and dissipate.

The wine may also be fizzy due to a re-fermentation. Even after racking, there may still be suspended yeast cells within the wine. The addition of potassium metabisulfite is necessary to ensure the killing off of remaining yeast cells, especially if the wine has any residual sugar or if the winemaker has plans to back sweeten the wine. Potassium sorbate is also strongly recommended if the winemaker intends upon back sweetening a white wine. The potassium sorbate will encapsulate the yeast cells, rendering them sterile and unable to ferment any sugar that is then added to the wine. (Note: Potassium sorbate cannot be used on any wine that has gone through Malolactic fermentation.) If the winemaker would prefer physical rather than chemical sterilization, a sterile grade (.45micron) filter may be used to physically remove any yeast or bacterial cells and prevent any further fermenting from occurring in the bottle.

*Please Note:

  • Brettanomyces is carbon dioxide as well.
  • The issue of filtration raises a host of issues.  Sterile in winemaking is not achieved unless using an absolute filter (cartridge filter at the 0.45 or lower) and not a nominal filter (plate or pad filter  such as the Grifo or SuperJets).  The cartridges for the Enolomatic filter set-up are not rated as sterile either.

We hope this information helps with your winemaking. If you have any follow up questions or winemaking questions in general, please email us at support@juicegrape.com. 

Mini Malo Class to be Held December 17th at 10:00AM

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IS YOUR WINE GOING THROUGH MALO? BRING IT IN AND WE WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO TEST FOR IT!

OUR “MINI MALO” CLASS WILL BE HELD DECEMBER 17TH AT 10:00AM

Musto Wine Grape RAFFLE

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING YOUR WINES ON JANUARY 21ST, 2017 AT ZANDRI’S STILLWOOD INN!

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UPDATE: RAFFLE ITEMS:

  • Wine Grape Raffles:
  • 20 Cases of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 20 Cases of Paso Robles Syrah
  • 20 Cases Lanza Musto Vineyards Cabernet 169
  • 20 Cases Lanza Musto Vineyards Petite Sirah
  • 20 Cases Lodi Zinderella
  • 20 Cases Contra Costa Montelpulciano

 

  • Equipment Raffles:
  • 200 Liter Stainless Steel Tank
  • 30 Gallon American Oak Barrel

 

  • Gift Certificate Raffles:
  • $100 Gift Certificate to Musto Wine Grape Company


CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


THE RESULTS & JUDGING NOTES WILL BE RELEASED at the dinner

ALONG WITH A MEDAL CEREMONY, Dinner, DANCING, FUN GAMES, & RAFFLES!!

All raffle & wine game money will be donated to the wounded warriors project

Zandri’s stillwood inn:
1074 S. Colony Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492
January 21st, 2017
6:30PM – Midnight

Are you considering buying a gift? Let us help…

Are you considering buying a gift? Let us help…

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Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC. has gifts for those starting out in winemaking, those who are experienced winemakers, or those who simply love wine or have a special winemaker in their lives.

So, what sort of person are you buying for?

Is this person interested in making wine for the first time or relatively new to winemaking?

Those interested in making wine may want to start out with some of the following:

basic-equipment-kit

A Winemaking Equipment Kit

Winemaking Equipment kits come with many of the basic and reusable items that are essential for making a basic batch of wine.  Kits can be purchased pre-packaged or you can work with a Musto sales rep to enhance the kit items.

A Winemaking Ingredient Kit

Winemaking Ingredient Kits exist for every budget and contain the ingredients needed to ferment and finish wine for bottling and enjoyment.  There are kits available for all tastes.

Basic Lab/Analysis Equipment

While there are many different pieces of equipment that can be purchased for winemaking, few are as essential to crafting consistently good wine as are these items…

Hydrometer
Acid Tiration Kits (we recommend our own Pro Acid Kit!)
pH meters

Professional Books on Winemaking

A Professional Winemaker Led Class At Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC at our Hartford, CT location.

Perhaps the person you are buying for falls into the “Experienced Winemaker” category?

Hydrometer used to measure the specific gravity of wine and beer

Hydrometer used to measure the specific gravity of wine and beer

An experienced winemaker may have been making wine for a period of time and should now have the basic equipment and supplies.  This sort of winemaker is generally looking for items to expand his or her cellar or for items that offer greater efficiency.  To the observer, an experience winemaker might also be one who consistently produces wines that beg you to have another glass.

If your winemaker is an “Experienced Winemaker” he or she may already have those items mentioned for the those who might just be getting started in winemaking. For those who do, you may want to consider some of the following items, big and small.

New Wine Barrels
Stainless Steel Variable Capacity Tanks
Chemical Analysis Meters
Wine Bottles

OR…Maybe the person you are buying for simply loves wine and/or a special winemaker?

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Check out our great selection of Merchandise including cool wine themed products for indoors, outdoors. We also have a large selection of stylish jewelry and apparel.

Gift Certificates…The Perfect Gift!

gift-certificate

There may be no better gift option than the gift certificate.  It allows the recipient to apply the value of the certificate to any item that they wish to purchase and at a time they are ready to do so.  Our gift certificates come with a gift certificate holder and may be used for either online or in-store purchases.  Click here to purchase a gift certificate in a convenient denomination.

 

Also, we are constantly running New and Special Deals on All of Our Products –> Check out our Shopping Page for more Information and Coupons!

 

Come Celebrate Your Winning Wines on January 21st

wine-competition-dinner-invite

 

The results are in and the date is set! Come Celebrate Your Winning Wines on January 21st, 2016.

The 2016 Musto Wine Grape Company, LLC. Wine Competition Dinner will entail a catered dinner, medal ceremony, wine themed games, dancing, and raffle prizes. All raffle money proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

This is an event you don’t want to miss! There may even be a possibility of hitting Frank Musto in the face with a pie! (Shhhhh don’t tell Frank ;))

Tickets: Purchase HERE

Results: Musto Wine Grape Wine Competition Results!

LOCATION:
Zandri’s Stillwood Inn:
1074 S. Colony Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492
January 21st, 2017
6:30PM – Midnight

 We Hope To See You There! Cheers!

Pair Your Holiday Meals with Your Vinifera Noble Wine Kit

For those of you who are already running out of wine, we have the perfect solution! Start making wine on November 28th and it can be ready to drink by your special Holiday! Pick up a Mosti Mondiale Vinifera Noble Wine Kit and start creating the perfect wine for your Holiday Gathering. The Vinifera Noble Kits are a year round alternative to fresh musts and juice. They are characteristically warm, well balanced, and robust yet still subtle and delightfully nuanced. Choose any variety for your Holiday project and create a wine that your guests will want to steal from your cellar!

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Downloadable Version Here –> pairing-food-with-vinifera-noble-kit

 

Who Won Best in Show?

Thank you to everyone who entered Musto Wine Grape Company’s Wine Competition. We cannot wait for the Competition Dinner to give you all of the results! Dates for the dinner are coming soon….

You will be receiving an email this week with your medal results. All medals and feedback will be given out at the dinner.

And now for Best in Show…

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Best in Show – Commercial: Winemaker Amanda Brackett from Southern Connecticut Wine Company for their “Dark & Dirty Red Blend”

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Best in Show Amateur: Eric Albetski & Ed Smith for their 75% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon Blend.

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Congratulations to all the Winemakers who submitted their entries. We can’t wait to see you at the dinner and celebrate your wines!