877.812.1137

Chilean Wine

Quick Spring Winemaking Season Update

Quick Spring Winemaking Season Update

Helo Winemakers,

I hope this finds you well and in good spirits. The South African and Chilean vineyards have been buzzing with activity as we start to embark on our spring winemaking season. As we look forward to the beauty of spring, I wanted to share an exciting update on our spring winemaking offerings. Below you will find this season’s offerings as well as tentative arrival times. As the season progresses, we will send you more information. But for now, check out our blog and keep an eye out for some spring winemaking inspiration!

Quick Spring Winemaking Season Update

South African Season:

Arriving: End of March

Juice Varieties: Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc

Fresco Juice Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc

 

Chilean Season:

Arriving: End of April, beginning of May

Grapes Varieties: Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier

Juice Varieties: Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet/Merlot Blend, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier.

Fresco Juice Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Chardonnay, Chardonnay-Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier

 

Interested in making South African or Chilean Wine? Give us a call at 877-812-1137 to speak to a winemaking representative about your order. Cheers!

2023 Chilean Winemaking Harvest Update

2023 Chilean Winemaking Harvest Update

{above photo from our trip to chile a few years ago}

Hello, Winemakers! It’s time to get ready and prepped for the Chilean grape and juice arrival. The Chilean Winemaking Season starts in early April and ends in May. Our growers have planned to start harvesting white wine grapes around March 15th and red grapes around March 23rd. Once on the boat, we will have a better update on delivery timing.

Musto’s 2023 Chilean Offerings:

Chile Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier

Chilean Juice: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Muscat.

Chilean Viticulture:

Chile is the same latitude as northern California! Chileans can grow many different types of grapes here, just like in California. The cooling influences they receive from the Pacific Ocean, the Andes Mountains, and the warm and plentiful sunshine attributes to their wine-growing success. Their warm Mediterranean climate helps the grapes to ripen. The Humboldt current, flows up from Antarctica, along the Chilean coast, pushing the cool air inland by the wind patterns. This cooling effect helps cool off the grapes while they mature. Colchagua and Curico Valley both benefit from this ocean influence, which allows these regions to produce grapes from fertile soil for wines that are gaining premium reputations.

The Curico and Colchagua Valleys have some of the best soils in Chile, composed of mostly sand, clay, decomposed granite, and volcanic-alluvial. These regions only receive around 23.3 inches of rainfall per year and little to no rainfall during their summer months. The grapes are safe as harvest approaches, and the weather ensures that the grapes are fighting for water and creating a more intense fruit.

What are Brix?

The harvest is based on sugar levels in the grapes. This information comes from a simple measurement called degrees brix (also known as specific gravity). It’s important because it tells us how much water is present in our must (the mixture of crushed grapes and yeast starter). The lower this number is, the more concentrated or “dry” your wine will be when finished fermenting. The ideal Brix levels for red wines is 23-25 Brix, and for white wines 21-24 Brix.

How are the grapes harvested?

The grapes are handpicked. The pickers walk through rows of vines looking for clusters of ripe fruit to cut off with long-handled knives called “cortadores.” They then gently place these into plastic tubs where they’re carried back to trailers parked nearby–a process that takes place over several days (usually during the morning). Once all of this has been completed successfully, we begin our shipping process!

How do you know when to harvest the grapes?

The wine grape harvest is based on sugar levels in the grapes: if they’re too low you can’t make good wine; too high and it will taste too sweet and you’ll most likely have a stuck fermentation. Each month/week/and as harvest nears, day – the grapes are sampled in the field to see if they have reached their optimum levels yet.

Shipping from Chile to MWG…

Once the grapes arrive at port they are sent to Musto Wine Grape Co. and we unload them into our coolers. Everything is shipped in a refrigerated container and never breaks the cold chain. This ensures that the high quality of the fresh Chilean products are intact. After they arrive it is time for you to pick up your grapes and/or juices and get winemaking!

2023 Chilean Harvest Update:

The Chilean crop looks excellent this season. We are hoping to see the Chilean grapes and juices arrive at around 23-25 Brix, very sweet and juicy. Arrival dates look to be somewhere at the end of April / early May depending on the type of winemaking grape/juice. Give us a call (877-812-1137) or email us at sales@juicegrape.com with any arrival questions.

Fun Fact About Chile: Chile produces more than 1 million tons of grapes every year!

Chilean wine making is a time-honored tradition, and the results are worth it! This will be 18+ years of Musto Wine Grape working with our Chilean vineyards and every year the wines created get better and better. We hope you enjoyed learning about the Chilean wine-making season. It’s an interesting process that requires a lot of work, but in the end, it pays off with delicious wines!

 

For more information on making wine from Chile check out these blogs posts:

Can I make my own? Musto Wine Grape Company is here to help you make the wine of your dreams! The Spring South African & Chilean winemaking season starts soon! Secure your winemaking grapes or juices and give us a call at (877) 812-1137 to speak with one of our Musto Crush Crew members. We can get you set up with everything you need and provide customer support along the way to ensure your success!

Spring Harvest Menu

The Spring Harvest Menu is now available to download HERE

Browse what’s available to create this Spring and give us a call (877-812-1137) or email us (sales@juicegrape.com) to secure your order!

Wine Grape Spotlight – Malbec

Malbec is a grape variety with a deep, inky color, producing dry red wines that boast robust tannins and a long, smooth finish.

Malbec

Where is Malbec from?

Malbec was almost exclusively grown in France, where it played a primary role as one of the main Bordeaux grapes. The climate and pests in France did not allow for Malbec to perform to its utmost potential. Struggling to thrive, growers saw it as weak, finicky, and susceptible to disease as well as rot. It is mainly associated with Argentina and Chile now because it thrives there. It took well to the climate, excelling in the high elevation and heat, making it one of the most widely planted grapes. In the United States, you can find the majority of wine grape plantings in California, yet Malbec only makes up for 0.5% of those plantings.

Malbec Characteristics

This grape can yield a wide range of fruit aromas that vary widely depending on the climate they are grown in. Cooler climates like France and Washington state yield black cherry, raspberry, and plum aromas. For warmer climates like Chile, you’ll get more blackberry, blueberry, plum, and black cherry. They’re juicy and jammy, with notes of vanilla, tobacco, dark chocolate, and oak. They have medium acid and moderate levels of tannins. Chilean Malbec’s boast with red fruit flavors like cherry, raspberry and have floral and slight earthy notes.

Can I make my own?

Musto Wine Grape Company is here to help you make the wine of your dreams! The Spring Chilean winemaking season starts in late April, early May. Secure your Malbec and give us a call at (877) 812-1137 to speak with one of our Musto Crush Crew members. We can get you set up with everything you need and provide customer support along the way to ensure your success!

2020 Spring Harves is Right Around the Corner!

As the Holiday season starts to wind down we can’t help but get excited for the coming Spring wine season. We will have more updates in the coming weeks, but why not check out a video from the 2019 Chilean Wine Grape Harvest?

Arriving:

End of April, beginning of May

Grape Varieties:

  • Carmenere
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Petite Verdot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Syrah
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Viognier

Juice Varieties:

  • Carmenere
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet/Merlot Blend
  • Malbec
  • Merlot
  • Petite Verdot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Syrah
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Viognier

Fresco Juice Varieties:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Carmenere
  • Merlot
  • Malbec
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Viognier
  • Chardonnay/Semillon Blend

Yeast Suggestions:

  •  Cabernet: CSM – New Yeast Coming to Musto Wine Grape in the Spring!, Keep an eye for a blog post about in on Thursday’s Winemaker Think Tank!
  •  Malbec: D254: Brings out bright fruit flavors and complexity such as berry, plum, and mild spice.
  • Carmenere: D254: Brings out bright fruit flavors and complexity such as berry, plum, and mild spice or BDX: Promotes soft tannins, secures color, and ferments at low heat.
  • Chardonnay: QA23: Promotes apple and pear notes or VIN13: Heightens pineapple and tropical notes
  • Sauvignon Blanc: R2: Promotes fruity and floral notes or 71B: Brings out grapefruit notes and other tropical fruits or QA23: Promotes apple and pear notes or VIN13: Heightens pineapple and tropical notes

So pour yourself a glass of wine and give us a call or shoot us an email to secure your Pre-Order Today! 

Details from our Trip to Chile

As the grapes begin to harvest we reflect back on the amazing trip that we had in Chile. Check out our Chilean itinerary below. Anyone up for a trip to Chile? Because we can’t wait to go back and visit!

Day 1: Colchagua

SBandViewsofColchagua_preview.jpeg

As we drove through the Colchagua Valley I couldn’t help but feel like I was back in Napa driving down the Silverado Trail or HWY 29. Lush vineyards surrounded us on either side of the highway. Each winery we passed was just as majestic as or more than the next. A blissful start to our trip.

We stopped at few wineries that day before we visited our vineyards for research purposes ;). The first winery we stopped at was Lapostelle’s Clos Apalta winery. This winery calls itself “French in essence, Chilean by birth”. A striking winery that is 100% gravity fed. They have over six levels in the winery. Each with a specific fermentation or aging purpose. The tasting room is on the second to last floor and is so cold they offer blankets for patrons when tasting wine in their cave like room. Directly below the tasting room is the proprietor’s personal cellar, with over 1000 bottles of wine. Quite the collection.  This was one of the more interesting tasting experiences we’ve had.

ClosAlpataWineryBarrelRoom_Colchagua_preview.jpeg

For the rest of the day we visited our Colchagua Vineyards and they were incredible! The Colchagua Valley is known for growing bold red wines, such as Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. It has a mediterranean climate and is located along the southern end of the Rapel Valley. This topography creates a climate that receives around 23.3 inches of rainfall per year and little to no rainfall during their summer months. This helps keep the grapes safe close to harvest and ensures that the grapes are fighting for water therefore creating a more intense fruit.  The soil is made up of sand, decomposed granite, and clay. Another great indicator of quality viticulture. These soil components soak up acidity and help create a more balanced wine grape to work with.

Days 2-3: Curico Valley

ChileanGrowerRidingHorsebackthroughvineyard_preview.jpeg

The hospitality in Chile was something we have never experienced before. The people were so kind and accommodating. First, we rode on horseback around the Chardonnay vineyard. Not being very good at horseback riding this was a little nerve wrecking, but we were able to make it around the vineyard (barely). Besides the stress of being on a horse the views were gorgeous and it was quite the way to take in the vineyard views.

Curico is place where many wineries and growers work with large producers. They have high-end equipment with state of the art technology; but at the same time there are family wineries and growers who create incredible boutique wines using a combination of old world tradition and a few new world winemaking practices. You can see the combination of new and old just by driving down the street. You not only pass fancy cars, but every once in a while you’ll pass a horse and buggy. Yes that is correct. Many people ride horseback throughout the area rather than drive cars.  Curico has been a wine grape growing region since the 1800s and you can see the incredible history of the wine region as you drive down the street.

VinaCorreaAlbanoSauvignonBlanc_preview.jpeg

The wines from our grower’s personal winery were delicious! Sebastian and Manuela make a great father/daughter team when it comes to winemaking. Their wine label is called “Correa Albano” and the Sauvignon Blanc was so fruit forward and bright. I couldn’t get enough of it. Especially on such a hot summer day, it was the perfectly refreshing and complex Sauvignon Blanc. The Carmenere was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. It had a “dusty” almost “napa-like” nose to it. It was full of delicious dark fruits with soft and rich tannins. This wine has inspired me to try to make Carmenere again. I am hoping the new CSM yeast will get me close to this flavor profile. One of things Manuela touched on was the importance of temperature during fermentation for both white and red wines. She said she is meticulous about monitoring temperature during her primary fermentations and it is one of the keys to her winemaking success.

IMG_8665

After tasting some our grower’s wines we sat down for a true Chilean lunch and the food was delicious! Our growers were incredibly kind and prepared a few authentic Chilean dishes for us to enjoy (keep an eye out for some recipes to hit the blog soon). It was a feast of delicious Chilean produce, spices, and flavors, which was followed by a barrel tasting where Sebastian and Manuela let us try some of their aged red wines. They used multiple yeasts and are starting to think about blending the different oaks.

AuthenticChileanLunchinCurico_preview.jpeg

As our 5 hour lunch and tasting came to an end we went to see more of the vineyards, and let me tell you, this car ride was epic. It was to a point where we didn’t think our rental car would make it over the rocks and through the brush. I felt like I was on a jungle safari in a car that was about to crumble underneath us with each bump we hit. We went from a beautiful roadside vineyard of Malbec and Merlot, up a large hill rocky hill to Cabernet Sauvignon, through a jungle forest that opened up to a gorgeous Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. It felt like we discovered a vineyard oasis. It was Sebastian’s father’s favorite vineyard. You could tell it held a special place in his heart.

27540635_10155995246243903_5686264756030328159_n

Day 4: Viña Alpatagua

WineTastingatVinaApaltaguainColchagua_preview.jpeg

The next winery we visited was Viña Alpatagua. The winemaker gave us an insider’s tour of the tank area, barrel room, and bottling line. It is a winery that is full of creativity and passion. The level of precision that is taken with each wine was very apparent, as was how creative the winemaker was. The winemaker, Pablo Barros, infused their sparkling wine with pomegranate juice from their estate pomegranate trees. It was a delicious addition to an already delicious sparkling wine.

SunsetinColchagua_preview.jpeg

Most of their wines were appellation focused. We tried wines specifically from Curico and Colchagua. Most of the vines that they worked were very old, some up to 70 years old! My favorite wines were the Pomegranate infused sparkling, the Carmenere, their Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling.  This winery creates wines of great distinction. A must see if you are in Chile.

Day 5:  Santiago

PiscoSoursinSantiago_preview.jpeg

On the last day of our trip we enjoyed some delicious Pisco with some of our hosts, Alfredo and Suzanne. Alfredo and Suzanne are kind enough to take video, photos, and give us up to date harvest information. We are very lucky that they are so willing to give us information so quickly and efficiently. Alfredo and his family are a big part of why we are able to bring in such high end grapes from Chile.

Since it was our first time trying Pisco, they took us to a Pisco bar in downtown Santiago. This bar had some delicious ways to try it. They had over 30 different cocktails centered on the authentic, grape-based liquor. What a way to leave Chile! The next morning we reluctantly headed back to the US. An incredible trip with so many great memories, new knowledge, and media to share with our winemakers back home.

Christina, Sebastian, Patrick, Manuella in vineyard

As the plane took off and I settled in for the long flight home I couldn’t help but reflect back on the incredible people we met. They are kind and caring families who truly love what they do. You can see the passion they have for the wine industry, their families, and the people they work with. They said, “Wine is made in the details… If people work in a good way it takes a direct effect on the wines.” I couldn’t agree more. It was an incredible trip and we feel so very fortunate that we are able to work with such amazing growers and their families.

NextGenerationofWineGrapeGrowerswithNextGenWineGrapeBrokers_PatrickMilio_ChristinaMusto_andNe.jpeg

Verasion in Chile, or as the Chileans call it, “Enverno”

IMG_9027
The Chilean harvest is starting soon. Verasion, or as the Chileans call it, “Enverno,” began in some wine grape varieties around January 25th and most of the grapes are currently around 15 Brix. We should be seeing white grapes start to arrive around the last week in April, and red grapes start to arrive around the second or third week in May. We will be sourcing grapes from Curcio and Colchagua valleys this year.
The Curico Valley, known as the “Heart of the Chilean wine industry,” and will produce some intense grapes this year. One of the steps that were put into place when cultivating this year’s crop was the pruning the vines later in order to delay the plants from maturing. Our growers started pruning Chardonnay around October 1st and Cabernet Sauvignon around September 20th. This was done to help reduce the risks associated with seasonal frosts and this tactic definitely paid off as the grapes look excellent.  The Colchagua Valley is known for hearty red wines, such as Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. It is located 100 miles south of Santiago, and is an ideal growing region for bold grapes. A little cooler than Curico Valley, but it still remains a Mediterranean climate. A great place for growing intense wine grapes that make complex and palate pleasing wines.
The crop this year looks to be of normal tonnage, but with a tighter marketplace developing around Chilean wines, grapes are tighter than previous years. Additionally, the growing season was a bit cooler than normal and harvest is expected to be about 10 days behind last year. This year’s growing season should produce some intense and complex wines.

Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec Numbers

Hello Winemakers!

We hope everything is fermenting along well! Below are some numbers were able to take on the grapes yesterday. Cheers and Happy Fermenting! 🙂

Musto Wine Grape_Chile_1 (4)

pH= 3.55, TA= 4.27, Brix 21.5

cabsav_1

pH= 3.85, TA= 3.31, Brix =23.5

carm_1

pH= 3.95, TA = 4.25, Brix = 23.2

Notes from our Winemaker Frank Renaldi about the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc: Primary Fermentation

Notes from our Winemaker Frank Renaldi about the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc:

Primary Fermentation

“Wine fermenting for 7 days slow and steady. Down to 4 brix. Nice nose and color as we wind down. Wine did get near 65F. I wet a bed sheet twice a day with cold water and wrapped around stainless tank. This helped keep the temp at 60F – nice and cool for a white wine.  Too hot and you will blow off the nose.”

Don’t forget to sign up for the Spring Bootcamp with winemaker Frank Renadli! Learn how to make great wine at home in just 5 weeks!

sauvignon blanc_chile_musto wine grape_winemaker_winemaking

Video from Chile!

As the Chilean grapes start arriving….Here is a video from our grower – Correo Albano Vineyards – talking about the history of his vineyard, the region of Curico, and the 2017 Harvest. Cheers to 5 generations of growing the best wine grapes of Chile!