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zinfandel

Wine Grape Spotlight: Mettler Ranch Zinfandel

Wine Grape Spotlight: Mettler Ranch Zinfandel

Mettler Zinfandel-winemaking-hwo to make wine-zinfandel-musto wine grape

When making Mettler Ranch Zinfandel you can create a wine with earthy and smoky aromas. Along with a complex medley of flavors including plum, blackberry jam, tobacco, anise, and sweet oak. The sturdy but softly integrated tannins yield to subtle oak notes (if you make an oak addition) as the wine lingers on the palate. These grapes create a wine full of Zinfandel personality! Winemaker Adam Mettler suggests some light French oak to add a little extra complexity.

If you can hold off drinking your wine right away and lay it down for 1-2 years it will only gain more of that zesty, delicious personality. If you’re interested in trying out a different Zin this year, Mettler Ranch is a great choice. Email sales@juicegrape.com or call the office at 877-812-1137 for more details on how to reserve these grapes.

The Mettler Family has been farming wine grapes since the 1800’s. Recognized in the Agricultural Hall of Fame, they are 8th generation grape growers in Lodi, CA. With over 800 acres farmed in Lodi county, some vineyards being upwards of 100 years old, these vines are meticulously managed and maintained. All of their vineyards are LODI RULES certified and some are Certified Organic through the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers).

Lodi has a classic Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cool, moist winters. The dry warm summer days allow Lodi grapes to develop full, ripe fruit flavors while the distinctive breezes maintain the natural acidity for structure and complexity in finished wines.

The Mettler Zinfandel is sourced from their vineyards by the Mokelumne River, referred to as “Old Lodi.” The soil is sandy and this sub appellation is known for being an epicenter for Old Vine Zinfandel. The vines are 50 years old, sustainably farmed, and certified through LODI RULES.

Making Mettler Ranch Zinfandel (5-6 gallons):

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Ingredients:

Yeast Suggestions:

Equipment:

Winemaking Steps:

  1. Sanitize and Crush and Destem – Inspect your grapes. Crush and destem into clean and sanitized food grade 50LTR fermenting tub. Always allow an extra 20% of volume for fermentation purposes as the wine will “expand” throughout fermentation. Always rinse your fermentation vessel with a sanitizing strength potassium metabisulfite solution (2oz/gallon or 3tbsp/gallon). Make sure that the sanitizing solution touches all the surfaces of the fermentation vessel and that the vessel is completely emptied out of all sanitizing solution after. Shake free any drops as best you can from the fermentation vessel. Having remaining sulfite liquid in the vessel will prohibit fermentation. Do not rinse the sanitizer off with water after sanitizing as that will reintroduce bacteria to the environment.
  2. Once all of the grapes are crushed, try to accurately measure your quantity of must. Add ¼ tsp of potassium metabisulfite for every 5 gallons of must that you have. Mix up the must thoroughly.
  3.  ALWAYS record the additions you make to your grape must!
  4. Wait for 6-8 hours after the sulfite addition and then add color pro to the must. Always mix it with water to create a 10% solution (if you use 5mls of enzyme, mix it with 45mls of water). The water allows it to better circulate throughout the must. Allow the pectic enzyme to work for 12 hours before yeast set.
  5. Twenty four hours after crushing the grapes, mix the container thoroughly and take and record your measurements. Measure Brix, pH, and TA. If you need to adjust your must at all, this is the time to do it. Ideally your Brix should be between 23-28 degrees, the pH between 3.4-3.7, and the TA between 6-7g/L. Your initial Brix reading, multiplied by .55, will give you a close estimate of your ending alcohol by volume percentage.
  6. If you would like to use fermentation tannins (FT Rouge, oak dust) or fermentation nutrients such as Opti-Red, add them after measurements and adjustments have been made. Mix any of these ingredients in thoroughly.
  7. After measurements have been taken and any adjustments have been made, it is time to set yeast if you are using a cultured yeast strain. Follow the yeast set directions on the packet explicitly.
  8. After you get to temperature and add your yeast, you may cover the vessel lightly with an old sheet or towel or place the lid gently on top of the bucket.
  9. Obtain a must punch tool, a long stainless steel spoon, or your bare hands, and sanitize your tool or hands with sulfite sanitizer. This is what you will use to “punch down” or mix up the must three times a day. Try to mix everything very well, pushing all of the skins back down to the bottom, getting them very wet, and bringing up the piqued from the bottom. This should be done as often as possible, preferably three times a day. [Before work (7am), after work(5pm), and before bed (10pm)] When punching down every evening, take a sample of the liquid and using your hydrometer, track the Brix depletion. You should notice a drop in Brix daily. Always record your additions to your must, your brix depletion, and punch downs.
  10. If you are using additional yeast nutrients to assist in fermentation you will add them after fermentation has started. Fermaid O is added at the beginning of fermentation (1 day after yeast set) and Fermaid K will be added at 1/3 depletion of the Brix (2/3 of the beginning amount of Brix). Follow the directions for the individual yeast nutrient, hydrating with water and mixing thoroughly.
  11. If you are adding malolactic cultures to your wine, you may also chose to do this at 1/3 Brix depletion. Follow all directions on the bacteria and nutrient packets explicitly.
  12. Punch down and take Brix measurements daily. When your hydrometer reads 0.90, you have fermented to dryness. At this point your malolactic fermentation may still continue, but the primary alcoholic fermentation is complete. You may now press the wine. Wash the press and sanitize using potassium metabisulfite. Again, make sure the press does not have any excessive puddles or lingering amounts of sanitizing solution remaining. Sanitize the receiving container carboy and any pumps or tubing that you may use. Anything that comes into contact with the wine should be rinsed with sulfite sanitizing solution. Place a screen (also sanitized) inside of the press to hold back any extra skins or seeds from getting through. Start scooping up the must and placing it in the press. Some of the liquid will immediately flow through, this is the “free run”. When the press is full, slowly begin pressing. Do not try and press every last drop out of the must as this can lead to seed cracking and bitterness in the wine. Fill each container to within ½” of the top and secure a bung and airlock in place. Malolactic fermentation will exude a small amount of carbon dioxide and there will be trapped gas within the wine that will need to escape the container.
  13. Allow the wine to sit for 2-3 weeks. You can conduct malolactic chromatography or bring a sample to a winemaker at Musto Wine Grape for analysis to ensure that your secondary fermentation is finished. At this point you should see a nice thick layer of lees in the bottom of the carboy. You will want to place the full vessel onto an elevated surface such as a table and place the new, sanitized, empty vessel on the floor below. Using a sanitized siphon, rack the wine into the new carboy. You may have space at the top which will need to be “topped off” with more wine. You can either use wine from another container, or finished wine to do this. It is very important that there is less than a 1/2” of headspace in each container. At this point you should also add 1/4tsp of potassium metabisulfite per 5 gallons of wine.
  14. Now it is time to let your wine age. You will need to rack it and add additional SO₂ every 3 months. Make sure you sanitize all equipment and containers when racking and keep them topped off within ½”. Come visit Musto Wine Grape for bottling advice and supplies.

For more winemaking details check out the posts below:

Awards won by Mettler 2017 Lodi “Epicenter” Old Vine Zinfandel:

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  • 93 Points, Best of Class & Gold Medal – 2019 Los Angeles Wine Competition
  • 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine (February 2020)
  • 91 Points & Gold Medal – 2019 Sunset Int’l Wine Competition
  • 91 Points – 2019 California State Fair
  • Gold Medal – 2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition

If you are interested in purchasing wine grapes or winemaking juices this fall please email sales@juicegrape.com or call 877-812-1137 for pricing and information. We are looking forward to speaking with you about your 2020 vintage!

Wine Grapes from Amador County

Amador Brix Levels are in! Amador’s production of robust, intensely flavored red wines is attributable to its high percentage of old vines -roughly 600 acres out of a total of 2,700 are 60 years or older, including several vineyards dating to the 19th century. These deeply rooted, head-trained vines, primarily zinfandel, found in vineyards such as Plymouth, produce tiny crops of small-berried grapes which produce the heady zinfandels for which Amador County is renowned. Our Amador Sangiovese is at 19.6, Barbera at 19.0, and Zinfandel is at 19.2. Make sure to put in your pre-order via sales@juicegrape.com or 877-812-1137.

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Zinderella Zinfandel – The Perfect Fit

“The time has come to find an Old Vine Zin that is the perfect fit for every occasion. With a deep red color that beautifully inundates the glass, this luxurious Zinfandel immediately captures your attention….”

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Get excited Winemakers because Zinderella Zinfandel grapes are coming to the East Coast. The Zinderella wine was inspired by perseverance and invigorated by a willingness to never give up on a dream, Zinderella embodies so much more than just wine. From the heart of the esteemed Lodi Appellation, a land recognized as the Zinfandel Capitol of the World; only select Zinfandel grapes that have withstood the test of time have been chosen. With deep, rich Zin flavors, each bottle of Zinderella is an inspiration to follow our dreams and create memories.

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Who else is excited to create their own version of Zinderella? I know we are! The Zinderella grapes are sourced from one of our oldest vineyards in Lodi. These grapes are over 35 years old, head pruned and ready to create some delicious wines. We suggest using the following yeasts when creating your perfect Zin.

Yeast Suggestions:

  • CLOS: This yeast will ferment under tough conditions. It’s a great yeast if you don’t have good temperature control. It will help enhance aromatic structure and can handle a high alcohol tolerance (17%). CLOS helps highlight the intensity of the grape that comes with the vine’s age. Old head pruned Zinfandel vines produce some delicious and bold wines.
  • RP-15: This yeast will help balance out the mouthfeel of your wine. If you are interested in a tempered Zinfandel then this will help bring out the bright red fruit characteristics along with mineral flavors. If you like your Zinfandel with a balance of fruit and earth this is the yeast for you.  RP15 can handle higher Brix and will ferment up to 17% alcohol.
  • VRB: Bring on the fruit bomb! VRB will help promote all of those fruit characteristics you love in your Zinfandel. Think ripe jam, plum, and raspberry; while softening tannins and rounding out around 17% alcohol. This yeast is great for those who want to create a bright and fruity Zin.

Delta Zinfandel_MWG18Zinderella going through verasion 

Our grower Paul has a quick update for us regarding the Zinderella grapes, “As you can see veraison has already happened, and now the berries are ripening and coloring nicely. This year’s 2018 wine grape crop is shaping up nicely for us! Overall fruit sets are slightly lighter than last year, but as we know, with lighter crop sets, it increase expectations of enhanced flavors and better total quality.”

Give us a call at 877-812-1137 or shoot us an email at sales@juicegrape.com to set up your order for the fall!

Harvest Update: 8/25/2016

ARRIVING to Hartford, CT Early Next Week:

harvest calendar

8/29/2016:

LODI

  • Costamagna Chardonnay
  • Lodi Gold Grenache
  • Valley Beauty Barbera
  • Smiling Baby Merlot
  • Valley Beauty Zinfandel

9/1/2016:

LANZA – Suisun Valley

  • Sauvignon Blanc

CENTRAL VALLEY

  • Cry Baby Muscat (42lb)
  • Muscat King (42lb)
  • Cry Baby Thompson Seedless (42lb)
  • Lugano Old Vine Zinfandel
  • Lucerne Old Vine Zinfandel

JUICES from LODI

  • A Mix of Varieties

 

 

Call 877.812.1137 or email sales@juicegrape.com for more information

Zinderella – 88 Points in Wine Enthusiast!

 

matt from delta

Congratulations to our Lodi Growers on earning 88 Points in Wine Enthusiast for their  Old Vine Zinfandel Wine – Zinderella.

Zinderella, an Old Vine Zinfandel – Inspired by perseverance and invigorated by a willingness to never give up on a dream, Zinderella embodies so much more than just wine. From the heart of the esteemed Lodi Appellation, a land recognized as the Zinfandel Capitol of the World; only select Zinfandel grapes that have withstood the test of time have been chosen. With deep, rich Zin flavors, each bottle of Zinderella is an inspiration to follow our dreams and create memories. This is our Zinderella Story” – via Zinderella “The Perfect Fit”

Cheers to Lodi Wine & Lodi Grapes. Make sure to put your order in for Zinderella Old Vine Zinfandel Grapes for this Fall.

News from Lodi, CA

We can’t wait to bring in the Zinderella grapes Matt is talking about!

Cheers to Lodi, CA – 2015 Wine Region of the Year!

 

Recently named Wine Region of the Year (see video above) & voted Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine Lodi is certainly on the rise! Some notable wineries to check out are Mettler Family Vineyards, Zinderella Vineyards, Michael David Winery, and Lange Twins Winery just to name a few.

Our growers will have NEW Italian Wine Grape Varieties available which will be sourced from the Mettler Family. These varieties include Aglianico, Montepulciano, Nero d’Avola, and Dolcetto.

Zinderellla Vineyards will be making her debut! The Old Vine Zinfandel grapes that create this fabulous wine are over 35 years old! We are very excited to offer these prestigious and complex grapes this fall.

Make sure to contact the Musto Wine Grape Co., LLC. staff for more information on how to secure your Lodi grapes.

Please see below for some photos from the our growers in Lodi. Harvest will be here before you know it!!

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Zinderella

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The inspiration for the Zinderella brand has been drawn from the perseverance & willingness to never give up on a dream! From humble beginnings to overcoming many obstacles & challenges, this grapes embodies so much more than just wine.  From the heart of the esteemed Lodi Appellation, in a land recognized as the Zinfandel Capital of the World; our grapes inspire the deep Zinfandel Flavors and attributes of the journey!  This is our “Zinderella Story”.

All the grapes sourced for the Zinderella brand are Old Vine. Specifically, Zinfandel vines over 30 years old. If you are looking for a new, interesting, and complex Zinfandel, then Zinderella is for you!