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2020 Winemaking Class Schedule

2020 Winemaking Class Schedule

Due to COVID-19 we are limiting our classes to 8 people per class.

Winemaker Bootcamp:

We will be offering 2 classes this season. The first class starts in September and the seconds starting in October. Please see below for the start dates. You can sign up HERE.

  •  Session 1 Starts Saturday September 19th at 9:00AM
  • Session 2 Starts Saturday October 10th at 1:00PM

Introduction to Winemaking:

We will be holding an Introduction to Winemaking Course on August 29th at 9:00AM. Space is limited so sign up soon! You can sign up HERE.

 

Product Spotlight: Triple Scale Hydrometer

A Triple Scale Hydrometer is a winemaking instrument used to measure the progress of fermentation and determine the alcohol percentage it will yield.

Triple Scale Hydrometer

How does it work?

The Triple Scale Hydrometer measures the density of a liquid in relation to water. In winemaking, you are measuring how much sugar is in the wine. The more sugar that is in the wine, the high the hydrometer will float. As fermentation proceeds and sugar turns in to alcohol, the hydrometer will slowly sink. When fermentation is complete the hydrometer will stop sinking.

How do I read it?

Triple Scale Hydrometers have their name because they indeed have 3 scales. The 3 scales are Specific Gravity, Brix, and Potential Alcohol.

Specific Gravity – is the ratio of the density of a liquid to the density of water. In winemaking, as you add sugar, the specific gravity increases. It indicates the amount of fermentable sugar or potential alcohol in the wine.

Brix – the measurement of the sugar content in grapes, must, and wine. This indicates the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. To get an alcohol conversion, multiple your Brix by .55.

Potential Alcohol – the total measurement of the alcohol that wine may contain, once fermentation is complete. This includes the levels of glucose and fructose. The levels of each will enable the winemaker to determine the conversion rate of sugar into alcohol.

How do I use it?

Place a sample of your wine into a test tube. You can use a wine thief to retrieve the wine from your vessel easily. Place the hydrometer into the test tube filled with wine. It will take a moment for it to stop spinning and moving around. Once it becomes still, record the data from each scale. It is a good idea to do this when you receive your must or juice so that you have your starting numbers. It is always a great idea to track your process for any future possible issues, or if your wine comes out amazing and you’d like to repeat the steps again for your next batch of wine.

Where can I buy one? 

You can buy your Triple Scale Hydrometer here. Musto Wine Grape is here for you and all of your winemaking needs. From equipment to customer support, we’re here to help you make the wine of your dreams. For any questions email sales@juicegrape.com or call (877) 812 – 1137 to speak with someone to get you started!

How to Set Up Your Home Winery

Setting up your home winery

There are two factors to consider when you decide to build your home winery.

  1. How much money are you willing to spend to buy more equipment, build rooms, or add air conditioning?
  2. The second factor is how much room do you have to create your winery?

I converted my entire basement into a winery. But, I did it slowly, one room at a time. Let me walk you through that and see if what I have done could apply to your place for a home winery.

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I have a room which holds my variable capacity tanks and carboys. This wine is aging and waiting to be moved into barrels. This room is air conditioned due to poor cellar temperatures at my home. I also have a sink in this room for cleaning and washing. I added a five foot counter to do all my lab work. Wine racks were added to the walls above the tanks to store all my 375ml bottles of port.

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The next room I built was a barrel room. I finally took the step to barrel age my reds and have never looked back. The barrel aging makes the wine so soft and complex. I have seven barrels ranging from 15 gallons to 30 gallons. I suggest you stay in this range as a home winemaker. They are easier to handle and clean. You must also remember, you will need wine on “standby” to place into the barrel once you remove the existing wine to bottle. Plan well.

winemaking instructions-home winery-how to set up your home winery-musto wine grape

My final room was needed to store all the wine moving out of the other rooms – a bottles storage room. I bought wooden wine rack kits online, and after assembly I bolted them to the walls. I then put down a floor, nice lighting and a bit of decorating to tie it all together. The most critical thing I added was air conditioning, because bottle storage needs four things – cool constant temperature, darkness, proper humidity and no vibration. All the bottles are lying horizontally and peacefully aging.

winemaking instructions-home winery-how to set up your home winery-musto wine grape

Besides proper areas to process your wine, you also need the tools to take care of this wine. Some of the “must have” tools are hydrometers, pH meters, pipettes, burrette, stir plate and an SO2 meter. These tools are needed to balance your grapes perfectly before pitching the yeast. They are also needed to adjust and protect your wine as it is aging.

Be sure to have other supplies on hand such as tartaric acid, potassium metabisulfite, fructose, tannins and oak. You will build your supplies and equipment as time goes on. Everything I talked about above will take you a level where you can become a dedicated, creative and proud winemaker!

Written by Winemaker Frank Renaldi

Summer Apple Broccoli Salad

This crunchy, refreshing apple broccoli salad is a perfect summer barbecue side. Not only does it go great with virtually any barbecue food, ranging from chicken to steak and even burgers – it’s also healthy without compromising tasty! I know you can’t wait for this one so let’s get started!

Apple Broccoli Salad

What you’ll need:

2 medium heads of broccoli, chop into small florets

1/2 cup of shredded carrots

1/4 cup diced red onions

2 large apples, chopped into small pieces

1/3 cup nuts of choice. I love roasted almonds and sunflower seeds

1/3 cup dried cranberries. Ocean spray’s pomegranate infused dried cranberries are delicious!

1 cup of plain greek yogurt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sweetener of choice, I personally love using honey.

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

What you need to do:

Combine broccoli, carrots, red onions, apples, nuts of choice, and dried cranberries in a bowl.

In a separate small bowl, combine greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, sale and pepper and whisk together.

Coat salad in dressing and toss, then serve chilled!

Wait, what about some wine to go with it?

You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging on that, did you? We would never! In general, crisp white wines are a go-to when serving raw vegetables, so try a zesty Pinot Grigio with this salad. The smooth flavors and crisp acidity allows this kind of wine to be served with lighter dishes without being too overwhelming, perfect for this salad!

Peach Prosecco Popsicles

peach prosecco popsicle

Peach Prosecco Popsicles

One of our all-time favorite summer treats is popsicles. You can make popsicles from pretty much anything, and they are perfect to cool down on a hot summer night! Not to mention, throwing in some fresh fruit and wine into a popsicle is one of the most genius inventions. We’ve got an easy peach prosecco popsicle recipe waiting for you, so keep reading!

Peach bellinis are a favorite cocktail! If you like them as well, you’re in luck because these popsicles are basically peach bellinis on a stick.

What you need and what to do:

You’ll need to buy some peach puree or make some yourself, which isn’t difficult at all. To make your own, grab 3 ripe peaches. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and place the peaches inside for about 1 minute. After about a minute, immediately remove the peaches from the boiling water and place into a bowl of ice water. Let the peaches sit in the cold water for about a minute or so, and you’ll be able to peel the skins off with your fingers. You can also use a knife if that’s your thing. Once you have removed the skins, you can begin to slice the peaches and remove the flesh off of the pits. Next, you’ll place the peach slices into a food processer or blender and blend until smooth. An easy alternative would also be to buy a bag of frozen sliced peaches if you want to skip the boiling and peeling. If your peaches are not sweet to your standards, feel free to add some sweetener to give it a boost. Mix your puree with Prosecco and pour it into popsicle molds. You can freeze overnight, or if you prep in the morning they can be ready for the late-afternoon.

Enjoy with family, friends, or a good quarantine movie night.

Want to make your own wine?

Musto Wine Grape Company is here to provide everything you need to make the wine of your dreams, and the support along the way to ensure your success! Give us a call at (877) 812 – 1137 to speak with a member of Musto’s crush crew to get you started!

 

 

Tentative Harvest Arrival Dates for the 2020 Wine Season

With the weather getting hotter and September getting closer we have put together a tentative harvest arrival calendar. This calendar is very subject to change, but we wanted to give you an idea of winemaking grape and winemaking juice arrivals.

wine harvest-winemaking instructions

Don’t forget to pick out your grapes and juices from our Harvest Menu and AVA Descriptions manual. We are always here to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to email sales@juicegrape.com or call 877-812-1137 with any questions. We have more up to date information available on our Harvest Tracker, Facebook Page, Instagram, and Youtube Channel. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with this year’s wine!

Ps- if you can’t read the image, you can download it HERE.

 

Strawberry Moscato Lemonade

Strawberry Moscato Lemonade

Summer is in full blaze and our delicious and boozy Strawberry Moscato Lemonade is the perfect summer cool down drink, and it’s too good to not share!

Strawberry Moscato

What you’ll need:

1 Bottle of Strawberry Moscato, 750mL (this one has great reviews or use your homemade Muscat!)

6 Cups of Lemonade

1/4 cup of Strawberry Vodka (this one scores an 87 at the Beverage Testing Institute)

Frozen strawberries, chopped or sliced

Lemons, sliced

 

What to do:

Combine your Strawberry Moscato, strawberry vodka and lemonade into a pitcher.

Add your strawberry pieces into the mixture

Garnish with lemon slices

Serve chilled and enjoy!

If you’re looking to really cool down, throw everything except the lemon slices into a blender with ice to make this yummy drink into a slushie!

Want to make your own wine?

 Musto Wine Grape Company is here to provide everything you need to make the wine of your dreams, and the support along the way to ensure your success! Give us a call at (877) 812 – 1137 to speak with a member of Musto’s crush crew to get you started!

 

New and Interesting Wine Varities for Musto’s 2020 Harvest

Musto Wine Grape is always looking for new and interesting wine grapes and juices to bring to you!

Below are some of the newer additions to our winemaking portfolio.

White Wines:

Fiano

Fiano is an Italian wine grape variety that originated and is grown mostly in Southern Italy; specifically in Campania. It’s roots are so deep in Italy that historians believe it was used to make a wine the Romans referred to as “Apianum”. The Fiano grape grows well in California’s Central Coast and Central Valley due to it’s Mediterranean climate, similar to Southern Italy. Pale straw yellow in color, Fiano expresses floral, tropical, and nutty notes on the nose. On the palate slight hazelnut, apricot, blood orange, and honey notes, can be enjoyed. If the wine is aged 2-3 years in bottle, those flavors can develop into spicy notes over time.

Sourced from Central Valley and Lodi, CA in grape and juice format this fall. 

Yeast Suggestions:

Vermentino

Another grapes with it’s roots in Italy, Vermentino is known to be found in Sardinia and parts of Southern France. A light skinned grape, these wines are usually aromatic, light bodied, and very refreshing. On the nose you will find citrus and floral notes, followed by grapefruit, minerals, white fruit, spice, and pie crust. A fun and refreshing wine to try if you are looking to create something other than a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

Sourced from Lodi, CA in grape and juice format this fall

Yeast Suggestions:

Albarino

Originating from Spain, this grape is one of the oldest in Spain. Some vines are up to 400 years old! Our growers have noticed the delicious potential of Albarino to grow in regions like Lodi and Central Valley due their similar weather patterns as Spain. If you’re interested in a crisp and bright white wine then Albarino is for you! Notes of ripe pear, citrus, and slight minerality; this wine is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or paired with seafood and white meats. Lively acidity, this wine is usually light bodied and well rounded.

Sourced from Lodi, CA in grape and juice format this fall

Yeast Suggestions:

*All white wine grape varieties are available in 36lb cases or in 6 gallon fresh juice pails from Lodi, CA.  For more notes on White Winemaking click here -> from grapes, from juice. For Sterile Juice options that can be shipped year-round with no refrigeration click here

Red Wines:

Teroldego

Teroldego is an ancient variety with a traditional, earthy old-world style. The thicker skin of the Teroldego grape lends tremendous tannin content to the finished wine. The wine boasts flavors of baking spices, red fruits, and pine. Hints of tar and leather come most directly from the grape skin. This grape will add a tannic punch to any blend and can help to add mouthfeel to a thinner red variety. While we may not be able to travel to Italy to create an old-world style wine, we now can bring Italy to us, in the form of this beautiful grape.

Sourced from Lodi, CA in grape and juice format this fall. Available in frozen must by pre-order only. 

Yeast Suggestions:

Touriga Nacoinal

Touriga Nacional-Winemaking Grapes

Similar to Petit Verdot because it adds structure to wines, Touriga Nacional is also a delicious wine on it’s own. A widely known and celebrated grape in Portugal, Touriga Nacional is now being used to make dry reds and the traditional port wines. You can expect dark red fruit flavors like blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry, with notes of coffee and spice. Medium bodied, these wines are usually very concentrated and have a lot of aging potential.

Sourced from Lodi, CA in grape and juice format this fall. Available in frozen must by pre-order only. 

Yeast Suggestions:

Tannat

Known as Uruguay’s “National Grape” Tannat is a popular planting in hot regions of California and parts of South West France. Many winemakers use it to blend in with their Bordeaux style blends to add complexity and structure. However, made as a single variety this wine shines. If you’re looking for a wine that is leathery, has intense red fruit flavors, earth, and spice, this is a great wine to add to your portfolio.

Sourced from Lodi, CA in grape and juice format this fall. Available in frozen must by pre-order only. 

Yeast Suggestions:

*All red grape varieties are available in 36lb cases, in frozen must by request, or in 6 gallon fresh juice pails from Lodi, CA. For more notes on Red Winemaking click here -> from grapes, from juice, from must. For Sterile Juice options that ship year-round without refrigeration click here

For more information regarding the Fall Harvest please feel free to contact us at sales@juicegrape.com or give us a call at 877-812-1137. We are looking forward to helping you with your next great wine!

How much wine will my case of California grapes make?

Crates, pounds, liters, gallons, must, finished wine, juice… there’s a lot of terms and volumes floating around in your head during winemaking season. Simplify your life with the following explanation of how much volume you should expect to be getting from your grape order.

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Each case of wine grapes from California and Washington State is 36lbs. Depending on the grape variety, you should yield about 2-2.5 gallons of must per case.

*Keep in mind that all of these are estimates. Some grapes will yield a bit more and some a bit less depending on the variety.*

A good rule of thumb is that 20lbs of grapes will yield roughly 1 gallon of finished wine. So each case should give you about 1.44 gallons of finished wine, equating to about 7 bottles of finished wine generally speaking..

If you want to make 5-6 gallons we suggest using 3 cases of grapes. The extra case will give you room for error when pressing and racking, plus extra wine for topping off during the aging process. If you use only 2 cases of grapes, make sure you have a 5 gallon carboy handy in case you loose a little juice during the winemaking process. You don’t want any headspace in your carboy.

For more information regarding the Fall Harvest please feel free to contact us at sales@juicegrape.com or give us a call at 877-812-1137. We are looking forward to helping you with your next great wine!

Frank Renaldi’s 2020 Harvest Wish List

Every child has a wish list for Santa. They think and plan for months before Christmas. “I too have a wish list, however my list concerns the next grape harvest – Fall of 2020.” Below are the items on Frank Renaldi’s wish list.

Frank's 2020 harvest Wish List

First, I always plan on the wine I want to make in the fall. I usually make 5 reds and one white. I chose my grape selection carefully. Why? I am a big red blending guy. So I choose the grapes I want to use to make one or two nice blends with. I wish all my selected grapes are available. If all of those grapes don’t show up or are not to my approval, that throws my plans into panic mode. I may have to choose a different grape and adjust my game plan. It has happened to me in the past, but I have made it work.

Second, I wish all my grapes to have the perfect Brix level. I want my reds to be between 24 and 26 and my whites to be between 21 and 23 Brix. This means no sugar additions or reductions – one less concern. A perfect Brix means a good fermentation and good final alcohol.

Third, I wish for a perfect pH and TA value for my grapes. This is key to a balanced must for my fermentation. This means two things – the grapes are perfect and no work for me. A perfect pH for my reds is 3.5 and for my whites is 3.2. A perfect TA for my reds is 0.6 and for my whites is 0.8.

My fourth and final wish will never happen. I wish instead of picking up my $60 case of Lodi cab, the order got mixed up and they gave me $240 case of Napa Cabernet. I would love one chance to make wine from the best grapes in the world. Maybe someday!

Sincerely Frank Renaldi