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Spring Winemaking

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 Season Updates – 2023

Dear Winemakers,

It’s Spring time! And you know what that means…. South African and Chilean Season!! We are so excited to get winemaking again. Below is a list of all our Spring Offerings this season. Please feel free to reach out to us via email at sales@juicegrape.comor via the phone at 877-812-1137 with any questions or to make an order.

2023 Spring Grape Offerings:

South Africa: Pinotage

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

 

Musto’s 2023 Spring Juice Offerings:

South Africa: Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc.

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

 

Crush/Destemm is Back!

We will be crushing and destemming again this year! However, there is a minimum order of 24 cases of Spring grapes. This will give you 6 pails of must, and about 20+ gallons of juice to work with.

 

 

Winemaking Classes:

Have you heard about our new Facebook Live series? Frank Renaldi is teaching free classes on Musto’s Facebook Page once a month. Each month Frank picks a topic to chat about and go live with a presentation, plus a q&a period. Usually scheduled on a Thursday night, make sure to keep an eye out for them. The next one will be Thursday March 30th at 7:00PM. Feel free to send Christina suggestions for future topics.

How do you access Facebook Live? It’s easy. Go to Musto’s Facebook Page on the given date/time, and Frank’s class will automatically popup on your screen. There you can ask questions in real time. We hope you enjoy this series and look forward to bringing you more information to help you make your favorite wine!

Don’t forget that you can always access Frank Renaldi’s online classes via our sister site WinemakingInstructions.com.

 

Winemaker Hours:

One of our on staff Winemakers -Sam Lee will be in the store and available for questions on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:00AM-4:00PM. If you want to speak to a winemaker in person, make sure to stop by and see Sam! You can also email him at winemaker@juicegrape.com.

 

Store Hours:

February Hours:

Mon-Fri: 8:00AM-4:00PM

Sat-Sun:  Closed

 

Looking forward to working with you all this Spring!

 

Cheers!

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!

Spring Fresco juices

Fresco Juices

Ever bake a cake from a box and it came out delicious? Did you know you could do the same with winemaking?

Mondiale Fresco is proud to be the only product to offer home winemakers their own vineyard in one unique package. Each pail of juice is pre-balanced and adjusted to ensure you have the best winemaking success possible. Just warm up the juice to fermentation temperature and watch it go.

What does “pre-balanced” and “adjusted” mean?

Every season Mother Nature gives us a different wine grape harvest. Some years the acid, pH, and sugars are all in line with each other. Most times they aren’t and there needs to be some slight adjustments made pre-fermentation to ensure top wine quality. The Fresco juices are adjusted so that the acid, pH, and sugar levels are all in balance with each other. This makes for an easier fermentation and, a very pleasing wine.

Depending on the varietal of wine you choose, enzymes and tannins might be added – all pre-measured, and ready-to-go, just open the packet and add to the pail. These add-ons help with wine clarity and mouthfeel, contributing to the “taste like made from scratch”, or in this case, as if fermented on the skins. The Fresco juices are the best juices to work with for busy winemakers. You get the juice warmed up, watch it ferment, age, and bottle.

No muss, no fuss. Just delicious wine.

 

What varieties are available from Chile?

chile-fresco-juice-winemaking-how to make wine

Cabernet Sauvignon:

This Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon offers a beautiful deep ruby colored robe with a predominant bouquet of blackberry and raspberry accompanied by a hint of pepper. Its slightly aggressive attack and long finish on the palate grant this wine the potential for a longer aging period.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Spicy

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Light Oak

Alcohol: 13.2%

Carmenere:

This variety is considered as the flagship red wine of Chile. This crimson red wine has big character along with soft tannins and spicy undertones all at once. The mouth filling flavors are enhanced by the ever present oak.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Spicy

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak

Alcohol:  13.2%

Chardonnay:

Our golden straw-colored Chardonnay displays a tropical fruit bouquet complete with vanilla undertones. On the palate you’ll find notes of passion fruit and citrus – a well-balanced wine easily enjoyed during a meal or by a cozy warm fireplace.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Woody

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Light Oak

Alcohol: 13.2%

Chardonnay Semillon

This wonderful blend brings together two halves of a whole into a harmonic union. The Semillon contributes flavors of honey and butterscotch to the Chardonnay’s nuances of tropical fruits and vanilla. A true symphony of flavors.

Body: Full

Aroma: Caramelized, Fruity, Woody

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak, Light Oak

Alcohol: 12.6%

Malbec:

Mosti Mondiale’s Chilean Malbec is an unforgettable journey through Chile’s wine country. A beautiful garnet robe, dark red cherry flavors and a nose comprising of cigar tobacco and coffee all combine for a delectable experience.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Herbaceous, Woody

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak

Alcohol: 12.9%

Merlot:

Our Chilean Merlot’s deep burgundy color, violet undertone and almost overwhelming bouquet of ripe red cherries and spices make it a true contender in the Chilean red wines category.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Spicy

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak

Alcohol: 12.9%

Sauvignon Blanc:

Light amber color with a strong citrusy bouquet and herbal undertones. Crisp and clean on the palate, can be enjoyed on its own or with light dishes or appetizers.

Body: Medium Full

Aroma: Fruity, Herbaceous

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Light Oak

Alcohol: 12.4%

Viognier:

A medium-bodied white wine with aromas of freshly picked green apples and apricots that displays a stunningly long and floral aromatic finish. Take a sip of Chile!

Body: Medium Full

Aroma: Floral, Fruity

Origin: Chile

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak, Light Oak

Alcohol: 13%

What varieties are available from South Africa?

south africa-fresco-juice-winemaking-how to make wine

Cabernet Sauvignon

In the world of wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon is one that does not get neglected – and with good reason! The intense mouthfeel coupled with fruity notes of cassis, plums and cherries make this wine an unequivocal master of provoking the senses. Dry, full-bodied and slightly woody arising from the natural overabundance of tannins. If you are courageous enough to set this South African Cabernet Sauvignon aside for 12+ months, it will give new meaning to the phrase “ages like fine wine”!

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Woody

Origin: South Africa

Alcohol: 13.2%

Pinotage

A South African line-up is not complete without a Pinotage. This bold red wine is synonymous with South Africa and it’s no wonder why – its hints of dark and red fruits combine to produce a medley consisting of blackberries, raspberries and licorice on the palate. More subtle flavors include rooibos, tea leaf and flavorful pipe tobacco. The bouquet exudes hints of wood and spices. Relatively high acidity provides a strong finish, making it the perfect pairing for game meats, gourmet burgers and homemade pizza.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Herbaceous, Spicy, Woody

Origin: South Africa

Alcohol: 13.5%

Sauvignon Blanc

You would be hard-pressed to find a more refreshing wine than a young, crispy South African Sauvignon Blanc. This splendid white wine is made to be enjoyed quite young. The combination of greenish, vegetal and mineral flavors emanating a few weeks after fermentation will make it very difficult to put this one away for a while. Off-dry with a lively acidity and medium finish. Serve slightly cool with light seafood platters.

Body: Medium

Aroma: Herbaceous, Woody

Origin: South Africa

Alcohol: 12.4%

Shiraz

Experience one of South Africa’s most renowned grapes: a dry, full-bodied cherry-red Shiraz with fruity, spicy notes when young. As it ages, subtler flavors like coffee, chocolate begin to take over. The nose slowly develops a hint of charcoal, which adds to the mysteriousness of this classic wine. Enjoy it with company if you really want to share it, but don’t be ashamed of keeping it your own little secret!

Body: Full

Aroma: Caramelized, Fruity, Spicy, Woody

Origin: South Africa

Alcohol: 13.2%

What varieties are available from Australia?

australia-fresco-juice-winemaking-how to make wine

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Full bodied deep garnet red. This wine offers up flavors of blackcurrant, blackberries with a slight hint of cedar. The tannin structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon matched with French Oak, create a wonderful symphony of tannins.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Woody

Alcohol: 13%

Chardonnay

This Australian Chardonnay offers up a complex fruity bouquet, with hints of ripe stone fruit and an underlying citrus note. On the palate it is well balanced with just the right amount of oak enhancing its full bodied flavor.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Woody

Winemaker addition: Light Oak

Alcohol: 13%

Merlot

Soft and mellow texture right from the start. This Merlot offers hints of cassis with light floral notes.

Body: Medium

Aroma: Floral, Fruity

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak

Alcohol: 12.5%

Orange Muscat

This white wine has citrus and honey notes with a slight sweet finish. On the palate it is fresh and crisp with a lingering clementine flavor.

Body: Light

Aroma: Caramelized, Fruity

Winemaker addition: Sweetener

Alcohol:12%

Petit Verdot

Bold and full bodied, the Australian Petit Verdot offers up flavors of dark fruits; black cherry, plums, with firm tannins and hints of spice.

Body: Full

Aroma: Fruity, Spicy

Winemaker addition: Dark Oak, Light Oak

Alcohol:13.5%

How do I make my own?

Musto Wine Grape Company is here to help you make the wine of your dreams! The Spring winemaking season starts in late April, early May. 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!

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!