Real Fruit for Real Beer

Monday  April 15th Shipment is Full. Next FedEx Ship Date Tuesday  April 23rd – Place your order by Sunday.

The tradition of brewing with grapes is thousands of years old but surging back into popularity.  Brewing great beers requires great ingredients. Extracts and purées are cheap and easy but that’s also how they taste. Your customers deserve real beer. At Wine Grapes Direct we pride ourselves on sourcing and providing 100% real fruit. No BS, no purées, no extracts, no concentrates, no flavorings. Real fruit for real beer.

Can I label my Pinot Noir “Biodynamic”?

 

No, you can’t legally label your Pinot as “Biodynamic”. The word Biodynamic is owned by the non-profit group Demeter-USA and use of the word Biodynamic on wine labels requires that both the farmer (vineyard) and producer (winery) are certified biodynamic by Demeter.

In the case of our 2018 Chehalem Mountain Pinot Noir, the grapes were grown by a certified biodynamic vineyard, but were crushed at a non certified winery so the term “biodynamic” cannot legally be used on a label.
If you’re not interested in official certification, but want to make the wine in the spirit of biodynamic winemaking then you should rely on native yeasts, make no additions or adjustments to the must and only add only up 100 ppm S02 to the wine.
For more information on biodynamic certification, check out https://www.demeter-usa.org/

Why Brew Beer with Wine Grapes?

Last year we shipped wine grapes to almost 100 breweries across the US and Canada!

They say beer was invented and wine was discovered.  The first evidence of brewing dates back to 7000 BC China, where residues from a jar indicate a fermented beverage that contained rice, honey, and fruit (likely grapes).  So some of the first beers brewed  were probably made with grapes.

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Great Notion Brewing

The first evidence of deliberate winemaking comes from Georgia (not the state) in 6000 BC. Those early winemakers chose to use grapes because grapes offer the rare combination of being both high in sugar and high in acid which creates a more potent and more durable beverage. Modern winemakers have  learned to use to grape skin contact  during fermentation to extract  desired colors and tannins.

TLDR: Wine grapes are nature’s perfect fermenter and are ideally suited for brewing beers in the fastest growing categories of the beer market.

The same qualities that make grapes the perfect fruit for making wine with also make grapes the perfect fruit for brewing beer with.  The high sugar content increases your brew’s potential ABV. The high acidity increases freshness and sourness. And fermenting on grape  skins offers more color and intensity of mouthfeel.

Buy-Grapes-For-Making-Beer-Juice-Beermaking-BreweryBut in the 1500’s the Bavarians passed the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Act)  and fruit beers have not been very popular ever since. Luckily that’s all changing and brewers are venturing away from the traditional barley, water, and hops recipe. In fact,  “Sour Beer” and “Other Beer” were the two fastest growing categories of beer sales from July 2017 to July 2018 according to Nielsen data.

Sour Beer sales grew over 40% in that period and have ample room for growth.  Other Beer sales grew 11%. Fruit beers fit neatly into

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Bullfrog Brewery

both those categories and are poised for even more growth in 2019.  The third fastest category of growth in the beer market was in IPA, which has seen tremendous growth over the past decade. Wine grapes also happen to complement IPA’s perfectly as the bitterness imparted by the hops is balanced out by the sour and sweet and nature of wine grapes.

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you brewers again in Denver this April at the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference!
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2018 Craft Brewers Conference

 

Chardonnay from the Olivet Lane Vineyard in the Russian River Valley!!!

Olivet Lane Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Harvested 10/31/2018                        Brix: 22.1, pH: 3.45, TA: .65
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM   $250 per 5.25 gallon  juice pail

** It is expressly prohibited to use the “Olivet Lane Vineyard” name for commercial purposes without permission from the Pelligrini Family.

The historic Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted by the Pelligrini Family (3rd generation Sonoma grape growers) in 1975 and is one of the oldest existing plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley.  The vineyard is situated north of the Petaluma gap which allows cooling fog to settle in almost daily during the growing season. This fog, coupled with the chilly Russian River Valley nights, creates a truly cool climate and lengthy ripening.

Wines from this vineyard produce some of the highest rated and most sought after vineyard designate Chardonnays in the country. Check out what’s available from  Merry Edwards, Williams Selyem, and Gary Farrell.

Acreage: 60 total acres of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
Exposure: Various undulating plain
Soil type: Gravelly, clay loam
Positioning: North to South
Topopgraphy: Rolling Benchland
Elevation: 150 feet
Year planted: 1975Rootstock: AxR1
Scion wood clone: Martini / Wente
Vine spacing: 8 x 12 feet; vertical trellis
Trellising: Cane pruned VSP (vertical shoot positioning)
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Irrigated: Yes
Cover crop: Rotating

  

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Frozen Grape Must

  1. Calistoga AVA, Napa Valley
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM    $230 per 5 gallon pail of frozen must
Harvested 10/9/2018                      Brix: 24.7, pH: 3.91, TA: .66

The Calistoga AVA is known  for having the highest concentration of volcanic soils and the biggest diurnal shift in the Napa Valley.  Some of the most famous Cabernets in California are grown here,  including Chateau Montelena , which is located just up the river from the site of our fruit. The vineyard’s proximity to the river  results in a combination of volcanic and alluvial granitic soils, which are well draining and highly infertile, the ideal soil type for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

2018 Grape Must and Juice Futures Now Available

Rosé All Day!

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $175 Rose of Grenache – Columbia Valley, WA

We’re offering our first rosé. These Grenache grapes were meticulously farmed on the valley floor of Washington State’s Columbia Valley. We’re sending the grapes straight from the crusher into the press to produce a salmon colored juice ideally suited for making dry rosés in the style of Southern France.

Red Mountain Wine

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $195 Merlot – Red Mountain,  WA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $195 Cabernet Franc – Red Mountain,  WA

Do You love Right Bank Bordeaux? Do you love Red mountain? We’ve got you covered with Merlot and Cabernet Franc coming from Washington’s most esteemed AVA.

“The Red Mountain AVA is located on a southwest-facing slope in south central Washington, a three and one-half hour drive from Seattle. At 4040 acres (1,635 hectares), this is the smallest, warmest wine-grape growing region in Washington. It has a unique combination of diverse geology, gentle south slope, consistent winds and notable heat profile. A complex mixture of the most rare and highly valued soil types in Washington was created by wind-blown silt and sand over glacial outflow.  ” – Red Mountain Alliance

Orange Wine?

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $165 Orange Roussanne – Columbia Valley

What  is that orange stuff all the hipsters are drinking? Meet orange wine, the darling of millennials. But don’t be afraid, orange wine is just white wine that had longer than usual skin contact time prior to pressing, giving the wine an orangish-brown color and increased tannin and phenolics. Winemakers have been doing this a long time.

New Grape Musts and Juices!

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM  $250 Chardonnay – Russian River Valley

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $230 Cab. Sauv – Calistoga AVA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM   $135 Ancient Vine Carignan – Lodi

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $175 Pinot Noir– Chehalem Mountains AVA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM  $150 Grenache Blanc – Columbia Valley

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM   $150 Sémillon – Columbia Valley

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM   $135 Sauvignon Blanc – Columbia Valley

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM$155 Organic Chardonnay – Columbia Valley

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $165 Sangiovese – Livermore, CA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $155  Malbec  – Rattlesnake Hills, WA

Returning Grapes and Juices

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $165 Cab. Sauvignon – Rattlesnake Hills, WA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $175 Syrah– Walla Walla, WA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $150 Riesling – Willamette Valley, OR

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $165 Gewürztraminer – Willamette Valley, OR

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $185 Petite Verdot – Rattlesnake Hills, WA

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $165 Roussanne – Columbia Valley

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM $135 Old Vine Zinfandel – Lodi, CA

2018 Winemaker Magazine Conference

 

We’re in San Diego sponsoring our 6th Winemaker Magazine Conference and awards dinner. Its the largest gathering of home winemakers and the biggest amateur winemaking competition in the world. We brought 5 gallons of biodynamic Pinot Gris juice and 30 bottles of finished wine. You should be here.

Why are we at the Craft Brewers Conference selling grapes for making beer?

 

We’re here because after 7 years of tasting the beers made with our grapes we understand first hand why the beer-wine hybrid category is exploding (hint: it’s f-ing delicious).

We’re here because craft brewers know that you can’t substitute  industrial concentrates and expect  delicious results.

Lastly, we’re here because getting together with 20,000 brewers and eating hot chicken  and drinking beer in Nashville just sounded like something we needed to be a part of.

View this post on Instagram

#gotgrapes #beerwine #workingthefloor

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Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne : White Northern Rhones in Washington State

Getting bored with Chardonnay? Check out Washington State’s emerging Northern Rhone white varietals.

Viognier – Walla Walla Valley 2017

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM      $165 per 5.25 gallon pail

Harvested 9/27/2017                        Brix: 23.3, pH: 3.49, TA: .51

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Walla Walla Viognier

“Viognier wines tend towards honeyed lushness, intriguing floral aromas, and rich texture.” – GuildSomm

“Most loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, Viognier can also be oak-aged to add a rich creamy taste with hints of vanilla.” – Wine Folly

Check out Great Northwest Wine’s list of recommended Washington Viognier.


Roussanne – Columbia Valley 2016

SOLD OUT!!  $155 per 5.25 gallon pail

Harvested 9/19/2016          Brix: 22.2 pH: 3.35

“Roussanne’s chief attribute is it’s

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Columbia Valley Roussanne

haunting aroma, something akin to a particularly fresh herb tea, together with acidity that allows it to age gracefully.” – The Oxford Companion to Wine

“Roussanne adds acidity, waxy minerality to Marsanne’s broader, oily texture and marzipan character.” – GuildSomm

“The big surprise  is Roussanne, such purity, almost a crystalline nature to the Roussanne grown here  (Washington).” Bob Betz, Master of Wine

Check out Paul Gregutt’s list of recommended Washington Roussanne wines.


Marsanne – Walla Walla Valley 2017

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.52.50 PM      $165 per 5.25 gallon pail

Harvested 9/27/2017                        Brix: 20.8, pH: 3.69, TA: .39

“Marsanne is a light straw color, almost

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Walla Walla Marsanne

green, with moderate acidity and excellent mid-palate richness. Its mineral flavors and aromas, and its low alcohol, make it an ideal blending grape. The varietal has been historically blended with Roussanne, where it tones down the viscosity and acidity of Roussanne and provides a more complex flavor. ” – Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Winery

“White Hermitage is the first wine of the world without a single exception.” – Thomas Jefferson


Cofermenting with Syrah

Most of the world’s greatest Syrah based wines come from the Northern Rhone and most of those Syrahs are cofermented with white grapes. This has the counter-intuitive effect of stabilizing color and increasing freshness. Here are the legal limits for blending white grapes in Northern Rhone AOC red wines.

  • Cote-Rotie – Up to 20% Viognier.
  • Crozes- Hermitage – Up to 20% Marsanne and Roussanne.
  • Hermitage – Up to 20% Marsanne and Roussanne .
  • St. Joseph – Up to 10% Marsanne and Roussane.

2017 Petite Verdot
Frozen Grape Must

Rattlesnake Hills AVA, Washington State

SOLD OUT!!

Harvested 10/25/2017                   Brix: 25.4, pH : 3.35, TA: .81

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Rattlesnake Hills Petite Verdot Vineyard

“Petite Verdot is the most startling discovery of what’s going on in Washington state today…Dense, highly pigmented, wonderful color, black-purple in the glass with a penetration of fruit flavor. It’s pretty incredible”. – Bob Betz, Master of Wine

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Washington Petite Verdot Grapes

The Rattlesnake Hills AVA contains the ideal growing environment for thick skinned, late ripening reds like Petite Verdot . The AVA lies within  the larger Yakima Valley AVA which itself lies inside the much larger Columbia Valley AVA.  The Rattlesnake Hills averages 2700 degree days a year which is 500 degree days more than the rest of theYakima Valley to the west and 100 degree days less than Red Mountain to the East ( Bordeaux gets roughly 2500 degree days  and Napa gets 2900 degree days). Night time temps drop 40+ degrees during the growing season to preserve acidity and freshness.  Rain is a seldom occurrence here with the area receiving just 7-10 inches of rain per year.

   The Petite Verdot vines are planted in the Harwood-Burke-Wiehl series silt loams that distinguish the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. These soils are a combination of wind deposited ancient or sedimentary alluvials and decomposed basalt over a lime-silica hard pan. This combination provides both exceptional drainage and ideal soil alkalinity for growing Vinifera.

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Picking Petite Verdot Grapes

Frozen Must and Juice