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make wine from juice

Winemaking with Italian juices

Let’s make wine from Italian juice… at home!

Many winemakers wait all year for their annual Italian juice pickup at Musto. Despite the fact that they may be able to find some of these juices from California, they look forward to knowing that they will be able to make wine that hails from Italy itself.

There’s so many juices to choose from:

  • Amarone- cooked cherries, dark plums, cherry liqueur
  • Barolo- tannic, rose aroma
  • Brunello- cherry, blackberry, tannic
  • Chianti- red fruit, dried herbs, herbaceous
  • Dolcetto- plum, blackberry, cocoa
  • Lambrusco- fruity, blackberry, bright red fruits
  • Montepulciano- red plum, thyme, baking spices
  • Moscato- sweet, fruity, aromatic
  • Nebbiolo- rose, cherry, leather
  • Nero D’Avola- cherry, plum, licorice, tobacco
  • Pinot Grigio- lemon, lime green apple, bright and crisp
  • Sangiovese- tart cherry, strawberry, plum
  • Trebbiano- peach, lemon, apple
  • Valpolicella- cherry, cinnamon, chocolate

For winemakers who don’t have access to a crusher, destemmer, or press, making wine from Italian juices is a great way to get the joy of making your own wine with less steps and less mess.

So how can you start making your own wine from Italian juices? Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way!

  1. Choose an Italian variety that speaks to you.
  2. Come to Musto Wine Grape and pick up your pail of juice.
  3. Bring it home, pop open that lid, and add 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite to it. Add pectic enzyme if you’re going to (5 drops per gallon of juice). Give it a stir.
  4. Allow it to come up to room temperature – we’re talking 60 degrees or so.
  5. Choose your fermentation vessel: will you keep it in pails or ferment in a carboy or demijohn? Make sure everything is clean and sanitized. *Be sure there is enough room to account for fermentation foaming*
  6. If you are going to add fermentation tannins or additives (like oak dust, Booster Rouge, Booster Blanc) you can add that now. *Note: do not add tannins such as FT Rouge within 8 hours of adding enzyme*
  7. Pitch the yeast once the temperature has reached at least 60F. Yeast strain choices will vary depending on the juice you choose – ask a winemaker at Musto Wine Grape for a strain recommendation for the varietal you’re making. Follow the yeast starter directions explicitly. Be very careful of temperatures, never adding yeast if there is more than a 18 degree difference between the yeast starter liquid and the juice.
  8. Carefully monitor the fermentation by checking Brix levels daily. Add yeast nutrients as needed if you choose to do so.
  9. If you are adding malolactic cultures to your wine, you may also chose to do this at 1/3 Brix depletion. If using a malolactic nutrient (Opti-Malo Plus) with the bacterial culture, hydrate the nutrient in a separate container from the bacteria and add to the must directly before the addition of the bacteria. Follow all directions on the bacteria and nutrient packets explicitly.
  10. When the fermentation is complete, rack off the lees and continue aging. Many Italian wines are aged with oak – if you choose to do this, you can do so in oak barrels or with oak alternatives (such as chips or staves).

winemaking juices-how to make wine

And there you have it! Delicious Italian wine that you made in your own home. There’s nothing more rewarding than having a glass of wine you made with juice from a reliable source.

Feeling inspired? Come down to Musto Wine Grape and pick up some Italian juice. But don’t wait too long – we are fast approaching the end of harvest time. Pick up everything you need and and be on your way to kicking back as you sip on a glass of homemade Italian wine. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make Frank’s Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo to accompany it!

JUICES IN STOCK AS OF 9-1-17 AND GRAPE ARRIVALS

Juices In Stock as of 9/1/17 and Grape Arrivals

JUICES:

Labels Available California Select: 

 

Variety

Barbera
Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Mixed Black
Pinot Noir
Ruby Cabernet
Sangiovese
Zinfandel
Chardonnay
French Colombard
Malvasia Bianca
Muscat
Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc
Thompson Seedless

On the Road…. Safe to say all of this should be in by the Friday September 8th!

GRAPES:

 

Variety

 

Label

Merlot

Smiling Baby

Zinfandel

Valley Beauty

Seedless

Smiling Baby

Grenache

Smiling Baby

Zinfandel

Valley Beauty

Albarino

Cry Baby

Alicante

O’Caprio

Petite Sirah

Cry Baby

Syrah

Cry Baby

Ruby Cab

Uva di California

Old Vine Barbera

Lucerene

Old Vine Barbera

Lugano

Pinotage

Costmagna

Merlot

Smiling Baby

Pinot Noir

Albarino

Lodi Gold

Chardonnay

Lodi Gold

Pinot Grigio

Lodi Gold

Viognier

Lodi Gold

Zinfandel

Valley Beauty

Grenache

Smiling Baby

Zinfandel

Lucerene

Chardonnay

Lodi Gold

Seedless

Lucerene

Seedless

Loidi Gold

Black Muscat

Cry Baby

Symphony

Cry Baby

Seedless

Cry Baby

Tempranillo

Cry Baby

Alicante

O’Caprio

Seedless

Miss Seedless

Old Vine Barbera

Lugano

JUICES:

Labels Available: California Select, Cry Baby, Colina

 

Variety

Barbera
Burgundy
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Carignane
Chianti
Grenache
M
albec
Merlot
M
ixed Black
Old Vine Zinfandel
Petite Syrah
Pinot Noir
Ruby Cabernet
Sangiovese
Syrah
Zinfandel
Chablis
Chardonnay
French Colombard
Gewurztraminer
Malvasia Bianca
Muscat
Pinot Grigio
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc
Thompson Seedless
Viognier
White Zinfandel Blush