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Old 01-23-2009, 04:41 AM   #1
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Default Massachusetts group grape buy

Hey guys,

A bunch of you guys who were at Masstoberfest and at the Utopia brew day expressed intrest in making wine. I started a seperate thread here to discuss it and I'll link to this thread from those threads.

So here's my idea. We can pool our resources and do a group co-op wine. I have been buying grapes from a fruit wholesaler in Harford who has a great relationship with California vineyards and also with vineyards in Chile. If you've never had Chilean wine you are in for a treat. Pick up a bottle of Malbec and try it. It's VERY good. THey get the grapes up from Chili in fantastic condition. Yes it's not 'picked in the morning and crushed by noon' like you would wish for but we don't live in California so we have to make do. I've been very happy with the quality of the Chilean grapes and just bottled my Chilean Cab Sav from May 2007. It is VERY good.

I have 30 gallons of a Bordeaux blend in my barrel that needs to come out of the barrel. (My 15 gallon barrel is older and can hold the Zin blend till the fall.) I need 30 gallons of something red to put back in there. (You can't put a white wine in a barrel that has held a red wine.) I'm not really wanting to spring for 500 lbs of red grapes for myself again this year, I have more red wine than I know what to do with as it is.

So if you guys are interested we can form a co-op and do something with the Chilean crop. I'll be buying mostly whites for myself this spring, probably focusing on PG, Chards and Reislings.

PTN

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Old 01-23-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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I am very interested. You can count me in the group grape buy. I'm currently making this kit, I ordered it from Northern brewer yesterday.

NORTHERN BREWER: Vintners Reserve 10 Liter Wine Kits-New!

Shiraz. Australia's own "big red" entry on the world stage, Shiraz boasts an incredible concentrated blend of blackberry fruit, spice and chocolate, all within a firm structure that keeps it together beautifully. A stunning, mouth-filling, dark and delicious treat.

I was told it won 5th place out of all the kits in terms of taste and quality. We shall see. If I can get a decent table wine out of it I will be pleased.

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Old 01-23-2009, 09:00 AM   #3
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I'm sure you will be happy, Albert. My only recomendation regarding making a kit is if the directions say "Do XYZ and leave it for a week" leave it for two. Time is your friend with wine.

Make a few kits between now and then. It will make it easier for you to leave the whole grape wine alone for the time it needs. Cause it does need time! But if you have a few kits you will have something to drink in the meantime. Also it will give you an appretiation of the difference between whole grapes and kits. Like I said to you guys last week, there is a difference that you can taste. Some people will swear that there is no 'kit taste.' I think there is. It's not bad, it's just there.

But we can talk more about it as we get closer. Have you given any thought to what you would like to make?

PTN

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:04 PM   #4
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Hey Paul, I tried a Malbec that you suggested. It's really good, though I prefer a nice Merlot. I'm game for what ever the bulk buy is..

Can anybody recommend a merlot kit for the first time winemaker? Is one kit better than another? I'll be going to Modern Brewer this weekend.

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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Ya Brian, a merlot is a much softer, rounder wine. I prefer my reds a bit beefier, with more of a tannic backbone. The sort of wines where your mouth feels all dried out and fuzzy after a glass and after half a bottle you want to go brush your teeth. lol

I think you will be limited mostly by selection at MH. He only has so much space there and wine kits take up a fair bit of room. Let selection and price point be your guides. For the most part you get what you pay for. Most of the kits come from Canada, the remainder from Italy. They are all reasonable products and will yield a decent bottle of wine in a relatively quick time frame. Not to steer you away from MH, but Steve at The Witches Brew will more than likely have a bottle of whatever you are looking to buy. It doesn't take much coaxing to get him to open up a bottle 'for tasting purposes.'

PTN

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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One thing to think about when purchasing kits. The more juice you get the less concentrated that juice is. Intuitively you would think that a more concentrated product would be better but it's not that way. The more they monkey with the juice to get it concentrated the more that will show up in the end. Obviously straight juice fressh from the grape is the standard. Every time they do something to that juice they are messing with it.

So a 10 liter kit is better than a 5 and a 20 is better than a 10.

PTN

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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FYI, the guy who runs my local HBS (who also has a couple locations in eastern MA) gets fresh grape juice direct from one of the vineyards in the Finger Lakes. You might want to talk to him; I'm pretty sure he drives up himself and picks up the juice in fermenation buckets. Kinda neat to do something with local product, you know?

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Old 01-23-2009, 09:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
FYI, the guy who runs my local HBS (who also has a couple locations in eastern MA) gets fresh grape juice direct from one of the vineyards in the Finger Lakes. You might want to talk to him; I'm pretty sure he drives up himself and picks up the juice in fermenation buckets. Kinda neat to do something with local product, you know?
What's the name of his place?
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:19 PM   #9
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What's the name of his place?

Modern Homebrew Emporium
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:35 AM   #10
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I'm a big fan of Finger Lakes Region wines, Alice and I go there several times a year, often to act as judges. But no-one out there has any juice still hanging around now. Even Fulkersons only keeps their juices till the end of November, if it hasn't sold by thenthey ferment it or wholesale it out. Good idea though, Bird. We are lookingat spring time fruit and that means South America.
PTN

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