So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Information about fruit/vegetable type washes.

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noooze
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So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by noooze » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:31 pm

Hi all

Moved to a new house in May and on the porch there were 2 old wines growing. Even though the wify hated it and deemed it to be something only pensioners would have, I persuaded her to let it live.

Did a quick count yesterday and it seems I have about 400 clusters of grapes. They are starting to gain their red color and from the neighbors, it seems they are not sweet grapes. Could also have something to do with the fact that grapes love more sun and more heat, than we have in Scandinavia :)

They are also not as big as I would hope - but that may come and it seems we are getting more rain soon ( draught index have been high though out the spring and early summer ).

So the big question is:

What should it do with them?
Know absolutely nothing about grapes - the only ones I have had contact with is the sweet ones from the supermarket.

Smash 'em, add some sugar and yeast, distill and drink ? or buy a barrel and age it ?

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NZChris
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by NZChris » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:47 pm

I found myself in that situation many years ago. After three years of trying to make wine out of them, I gave up on that and made brandy and grappa, which was far more successful. What you can do with yours depends on the varieties, but if they are not suitable for the table or for wine, I suggest grafting them with your desired varieties rather than destroying valuable rootstocks and starting fresh.

noooze
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by noooze » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:02 am

Hi Chris

The varieties are unknown - I know they where planted before ' 95 and they give off tons of grapes.
Perhaps brandy or Grappa would not be such a bad thing to do each year ..

Is there a specific grape for Brandy, or could I just use what I have ? I think they will be ready in september

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NZChris
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by NZChris » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:12 am

Some are better than others, but start with what you've got. If you can't make those work, graft onto them with the best you can find. Ask your local producers what they use and try to get grafting wood from them. I don't like your chances, but there is no harm in asking.

TheoPlates
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by TheoPlates » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:20 pm

Chris,

Have you tried Gewurztraminer brandy?

The cool climate in New Zealand is ideal for the production of aromatic grapes, that is not over cooked.

A couple of distilleries (Clear Creek and Ransom, Willamette Valley, OR) produced a limited amount some years ago. Needless to say it was fantastic!

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NZChris
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by NZChris » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:06 pm

I'm too far north for that variety, but if you have a source at a reasonable price I'd love to try them.

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Grappa-Gringo
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by Grappa-Gringo » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:18 am

I'm in the same boat...lots of grapes that are not good for wine. They are Concord grapes... The vines are 45+ years old and produce year after year. I've crushed and pressed this years harvest and pulled off about 15-17 gallons of grape juice from about 230lbs of grapes. I've never added sugar or yeast. The juice are down to .999 I'll put them through the still in the near future...
They say, "you are what you eat"... Then I'm fast, easy and cheap!

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NZChris
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by NZChris » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:41 pm

If you don't have fantastic brandy grapes, take the early and late jars off in small volumes and then try prospective blends to find something you like.

I do that, then do a sugar wash using the backset , pomace and trub, distilled with the feints, to use with products that benefit from lightly flavored grape spirit, like Absinthe, Ouzo, gin, etc..

Farside
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by Farside » Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:27 pm

I also got hold of a load of concord grapes. Interested to know what sort of brandy it makes because I have a hunch the wine isn't going to be fantastic.

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Grappa-Gringo
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by Grappa-Gringo » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:00 am

Farside--- yeah....not great for wine.... good for juice.... add yeast and distill.
They say, "you are what you eat"... Then I'm fast, easy and cheap!

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jonnys_spirit
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Re: So it seems I have alot of grapes...

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Oct 29, 2020 6:29 am

when life gives you grapes - make grappa!
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i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
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