2017 Winemaker Magazine Conference

Pick up your wine grapes and juice locally this Spring with free shipping. Click to see how!

 *Los Angeles CA local pickup date moved to Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 19th end of day ordering deadline.
Low Inventory Warning
Just Sold Out:

2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir                                                                   2016 Napa Valley Merlot
2013 Sonoma Valley Syrah
Nearly Gone:
2016 Rattlesnake Hills WA Roussanne  (15 Left)

Next Fedex Shipment Monday June 26th.

We had a blast at the 2017 Winemaker Magazine Conference and Awards at Cornell University in the Finger Lakes. Looking forward to San Diego in 2018!

Grapes for Beer. Brewing Barrel-aged Sours with Wine Grapes Direct.

Barrel aged sour beers brewed with grapes are one of the fastest growing beer styles in America. Wine Grapes Direct is proud to supply these premier breweries with 100% Vinifera grape must and juice, never from concentrate.

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Le Roar Grzzz

BullFrog Brewing (PA): Brewmaster Nate Saar was our first brewing client and is one of the most decorated Brewmasters in the US. RateBeer.com lists Bullfrog in their top 100 breweries worldwide out of over 25,000 listings. The original Le Roar Grzzz Druiven is a brewed with Milla Merlot grapes and is a rare 100- point scoring beer on RateBeer.com, making it the highest rated sour brew in America.

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Pat Korn of Green Flash

Green Flash Cellar 3 (CA) You all know about Green  Flash. What you might not know is that they have an additional 12,000 square foot brewery called Cellar 3 that is dedicated to making Best of Class barrel-aged brews. The only down side about Barrelmaster Pat Korn’s beers from Cellar 3 is that they tend to sell out within an hour of release. But if you know the right people…

Great Notion (OR) No West Coast brewery received more press or praise over the past year than Great Notion. They were featured in Beer Advocate, Imbibe, Taste, Bon Appetite and Food and Wine just to name a few. Their limited release Ambrosia is a barrel-fermented tart saison aged on Chenin Blanc. Oh, and it won best of show at the Willamette Week Pro-Am.

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Reaver en Noir refermented on Durell Pinot Noir!

Reaver Beach Brewing (VA) Kristin and Justin Macdonald founded Reaver Beach Brewing in 2010 after serving in the US Air Force. The wild coastal yeasts and bacteria of Virginia Beach provide a unique environment for producing barrel-aged sour ales. Follow them on social media to make sure you don’ t miss out on their limited releases!

  • Reaver en Noir  (made with Pinot)
  • Mal en Rouge (made with Merlot)

Yazoo Brewing (TN) Yazoo was a home brew project that began in the early 90’s and  turned into Nashville’s preeminent beer destination.  Since moving into their state of the art 40 barrel brewery in 2010, Yazoo has teamed with renowned sour beer writer, Brandon Jones, to create the “Embrace the Funk” line up of sour and barrel aged brews.

Dunedin Brewing (FL) Stations of the Craft is a collaborative brewing project started by the good people of the Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s first craft brewery. Their brews are not for the faint-hearted. “This is Your Captain Speaking” features two sour beers made from the same Blonde ale base. The “Donald” was aged on our Pinot Noir must and “The Hilary” was aged our Chenin Blanc.

Gravity Brew Lab (FL) “The brainchild of owner Diego Ganoza, Gravity Brew Lab is designed to be the answer to the question Miami has been asking for the past several years: “why can’t we have creative, top quality, locally made craft beer; like most other metropolitan cities in the U.S.?” – Gravity Brew Lab

Trillium Brewing (MA)  “Trillium Brewing Company was established on the values of family, passion, and dedication. Celebratory ales were first crafted to commemorate the marriage of founders JC and Esther Tetreault. This initial concept evolved into a lifestyle and dream to share, not only beer, but experiences with one another and their community.” – Trillium Brewing

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Check Out the Free Ingredient Kit and See What Grape Must Looks Like

Each pail of frozen wine grapes or juice shipped via Fedex comes with a free ingredient kit! Based on our lab’s numbers, we include enough tartaric to balance the pH of your wine, yeast, yeast nutrients (Go-Ferm and Fermaid K, oak cubes, tannin (FT Rouge), Opti-Red, and enzymes (enzymes only included if requested).

Don’t know what grape must looks like or how to use it? Take a look at grape must in this video. Grape must consists of the skins, seeds, and juice of grapes once crushed and destemmed.

Making wine with grape must is easy! Take a look at this 12 Step Guide to Red Wine with pictures to see how:

Red and White Wine 12-Step Program PDFs

How-To-Make-Red-Wine-PDF-Home-Winemakinghow-to-make-white-wine-home-winemaking

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Spring Bulk Wine Grape and Juice Shipments for Local Pick Up

Pick up Your Frozen Wine Grapes and Juice Locally!

Richmond pickup date moved to Friday May 12th and Monday May 1st ordering deadline. Chicago IL just added!

Frozen-Wine-Grape-Must-Juice-Pails
Pails Ready for Pick Up!
-What is it? You go pick up your prepaid pails at a local homebrew shop or warehouse on a scheduled day this spring.


-Why do it?
You can achieve big savings! Shipping is free and there are additional discounts.

-Where are they? We are organizing shipments to Chicago IL, Milwaukee WI, New York NY, Atlanta GA, Minneapolis MN, Boston MA, Philadelphia & Pittsburgh PA, Denver CO, Kansas City MO, Dallas TX, Washington DC, Charlotte NC, Richmond VA, Los Angeles CA, and Nashville TN. Want a bulk shipment to your area, then please let us know!

-Each shipment must be at least 20 pails to be sent out. So please spread the word to help them happen in your area.

-How to order?
Email andrew@winegrapesdirect.com and we will send you pricing and order deadlines for your area.

-When do they arrive? Arrival dates vary by location. Most shipments will be available for pick Saturday April 29th and Saturday May 20th.

-Email ASAP for ordering deadlines so you don’t miss out! Minnesota and Georgia shipment ordering closes this Sunday March 12th. Minnesota arrives Saturday March 25th and Atlanta arrives Thursday March 23rd.

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Efficient Home Winemaking: Don’t let Your Leftover Grape Skins go to Waste!

Home Winemaking Problem Solving: What to do with the Wine Grape Pomace?

So you’ve pressed off your delicious red wine and now have a big pile of grape skins. Instead of throwing them away, take a look at these four ideas and start making full use your grape skins!

1. Use the Wine Pomace to Make Fertilizer or Top Soil
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Wine grape pomace top soil four months after dispersal. Do you see the sprouting vines?

Did you know that roses love slightly acidic soil in the 6.0-6.9 pH range? Your leftover grape skins are perfect for lowering the pH in your soil so that your roses and other acid loving plants can thrive! You may have too high a pH if your plants are showing signs of chlorosis (a yellowing of the leaves). Gardenias, Rhododendrons, and even blueberries will also appreciate the lower pH provided by the pomace. We also quite enjoy the fine aroma of the must, as well as watching the little birds dig and scrape in the skins for grape seeds. After 3 to 4 months, the grape skins will be close to fully broken down (see picture). Here is the best part, this use of the skins is super easy! Just grab a shovel and spread the grape skins around your plant bed.

2. Add Complex Flavors and Rich Color to Your Next Batch of       Beer or Mead
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Mead infused with the flavors and color of grape pomace. Photo courtesy of Dan Mouer.

Infuse your next batch of mead or beer with grape skins to add that next layer of complexity to your brew.  A WineGrapesDirect customer, Dan Mouer of Virginia, was kind enough to share his grape infused mead recipe:  Mix 9 pounds of honey with water to make five gallons of mead. Then pour the mixture over the skins, seeds and lees from one bucket of pressed grape must. This will ferment dry over a few weeks. Later, prime with honey and bottle as a sparkler. For fruit lambics or cherry Flanders Browns,  simply rack the beer to an open (bucket) secondary and add the fruit directly. It usually takes a while for the fruit fermentation to complete. Then strain through a mesh bag and rack to a carboy. Be sure that all the small fruit bits and pectin globules settle out. Depending on the fruit, a bit of pectinase stirred in a few days before fining works wonders.

3. Make a second run wine!
Roman wine amphora pulled from shipwrecked cargo vessel
Roman wine amphora pulled from a shipwrecked cargo vessel bound for France. Perhaps it once contained piquette? Photo Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Click for More Details

In the middle ages, pomace wine was very common and was an affordable 6% alcohol beverage available to the masses. They did not add any sugar, as there was already enough residual sugar in the pomace because most wines were not fermented to dryness at the time. The ancient Romans and Greeks also made pomace wine, but called it piquette. Making pomace wine is very easy. Simply mix sugar with water to raise your brix to at least 22. Remember, .125 pounds of sugar raises 1 gallon of water by 1 brix. Just don’t expect a great product at the end, as the result is normally a lesser wine. Commercial distilleries will also use both pomace (Grappa in Italy or Marc in France) and pomace wine (brandy) to make spirits.

4. Add both Flavor and Color While also Protecting Your Homemade Cheese
Cheesmaking
Cheesemaking – Photo Courtesy of bluesy seenery – Link

Are you making cheese at home or know someone who does? Then try adding the rich flavor of the grape skins to your homemade cheese by covering your cheese tomme in grape must pomace. This method is very old and used in both France and Italy. In France, the most popular variety is called Tomme au Marc. This cheese is covered in grape must pomace and tightly sealed. After two months of aging, the cheese is removed and dried. The result is a beautiful cheese covered in grape skins and seeds that has the rich complex flavors found only in wine grapes. Cheesmaking.com has a recipe HERE.

Are you using your pomace in other ways? Please write to us, andrew@winegrapesdirect.com, as we’d love to make even more use of our wine must pomace!

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Home Winemaking 101
Getting Started

Learn How to Make Wine at Home!

If you’re just starting out on your home winemaking journey, the numerous options can be intimidating. But there is one fundamental winemaking truth you should hold above all others. It is often said that great meals are prepared with great ingredients. This saying is equally true for winemaking. If you want to make great wine, you have to source great wine grapes and juice. At WineGrapesDirect.com, we make sure every pail comes with grapes and juice drenching with the flavors needed to make great wine.

Home Winemaking can be as easy or difficult as you want it to be. To see just how easy learning to make wine can be, check out our incredibly simple PDF guides that show you how to make both red and white wine in 12 easy to follow steps.

Red and White Wine 12-Step Program PDFs

How-To-Make-Red-Wine-PDF-Home-Winemakinghow-to-make-white-wine-home-winemaking

 

You can also leverage our growing collection of home winemaking videos on both YouTube and Instagram:

See how to do a SO2 test:

Let’s Use a Bucket Press: Pressing Wine From Grape Skins:

Enhance your Chromatography Paper for Easy to Read Results!

 
Easy Home Winemaking Sulfite Method: a 10% SO2 Solution to Add to Your Wine and Manage SO2:

Easy Home Winemaking Method to Add Body and Mouthfeel to White Wine – Battonage:

 

Here is list of other home winemaking resources for you to draw upon:

Winemaker Magazine is an excellent publication and WineGrapesDirect.com is a sponsor of their yearly Home Winemaking Competition and Conference:
https://winemakermag.com/

The Dummies Guide can be useful if you’re just starting out:
Click Here

There is also a free (but very old) home winemaking how to book published by UC Davis:
Click Here

Daniel Pambianchi, a noted home winemaking speaker, has a very good Trouble Shooting Guide:
Click Here
As well as a very good home winemaking book:
Click Here

The valley Vintner has produced nice guide that covers a wide range of home winemaking topics:
Click Here

Introducing “Wine Must”, a New Winemaking Comic Sponsored by WineGrapesDirect

–Just One Oregon Pinot Left and Napa Merlot Almost Sold Out Don’t miss your opportunity to make excellent wine with this frozen grape must and juice!

Interested in putting this comic in your newsletter for free? Email andrew@winegrapesdirect.com for the details.

We will be putting up a new Wine Must comic at least once a month. So come to WineGrapesDirect.com to see the Wine Must comic, and don’t forget to check out the excellent frozen wine grape must and juice we have available.

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Wine Must Comic no.1, Winemaking Styles

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Frozen Must and Juice