2017 Spring Grape Harvest Update

To our fellow winemakers - welcome to the 2017 Spring grape harvest season!  We've got some details to share which will ensure you get your first choice of grapes and juices !

Spring 2017: More countries, more varieties!

This year we have expanded our line to include NEW South African juices, additional South African Grapes, and NEW Argentine Mendoza Valley Grapes!  These grapes and juices come in early, so please get your orders in ASAP!   These country's offerings will be in addition to the fine Chilean grapes and juices that we have offered for several seasons.

Deadlines & Arrival Schedule  - in order of delivery:

  • South African Pinotage Grapes - Deadline 3/25, delivery end of March!
  • South African Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes End of April
  • Chilean Grapes  - End of April/early May (white grapes may arrive earlier)
  • Argentine Grapes - End of April/early May
  • Chilean & South African Juices - End of April/early May

Crate & juice pail sizes

All Chilean and Argentine grapes are hand-packed in 18 lb crates, yielding approximately 1 - 1.5 gallons per case.  Your results will vary based upon maceration and crush efficiency.

South African grapes are hand-packed in in 20 lb. crates.  Expect approximately 10% more yield per case, i.e. 1.1 - 1.6 gallons of juice, based on the same criteria as above.

All juice buckets are 6 gallons of pure juice.  All will require yeast except the Mosti Mondiale Chile Fresco juice.

2017 Grape Harvest Details

Chile: 

The Curico Valley has been a wine grape growing region since the 1800’s and is located about 115 miles south of Santiago in the Central Zone of Chile.  It is known as the “Heart of the Chilean wine industry”.  Curico has the perfect fertile soil and is best known for its micro climates and the ability to grow over 30 different wine grape varieties.  Situated along the Guaiquillo River and nestled between mountains on its east and west sides, Curico’s Mediterranean climate and unique topographical features helps to create some of the finest wine grapes in South America.

The climate in the valley is characterized by morning fog and wide day-night temperature fluctuations. Climatic conditions in some parts of the valley favor wines with higher acidity, such as white varieties including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Vert and Gris.  High quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Carménère grapes are sourced from warmer areas of the valley, such as Lontué, particularly when produced from ancient vines.

Terroir: Sandy, clay, decomposed granite, volcanic-alluvial

Grape Varieties Available: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc

Juice Varieties Available: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet-Merlot Blend, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Muscat

The current growing season for the Curico and Colchagua Valley’s was hot and dry. Expect wines with great character, intense flavors, complexity, and distinction. Carmenere will be in shorter supply this year as the demand has gone up for this grape, so put your orders in early!

Argentina:

The first Cantinian vineyard was planted in 1923. As of 2012, the wine grapes grown in the Cantinian vineyards were certified organic by Argencert (in conjunction with the USDA Organic Certification) and accredited by Global Program IFOAM. The vineyards are situation on elevated terrain with views of the Andes Mountains.

Our grapes are sourced from Mendoza, Argentina – specifically the Perdriel area in Lujan de Cayo county

South Africa: 

Our Pinotage grapes are from older vines and are cultivated at the highest altitude in South Africa. You can expect intense flavors with high levels of complexity. These grapes produce excellent Pinotage and can be compared to Napa and Sonoma in terms of quality.

Breede River Valley:

The Pinotage grapes should be arriving towards the end of March and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes should arrive at the end of April.  We are expecting more information about crop estimates, clones, yeast pairings, photos, and more. So stay tuned for more updates! Cheers!

The Breede River Valley is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and is nestled between the Simonsberg and Drakenstien mountains.  Because of this unique topography, cool air from the oceans flows through the valley creating small, cooler micro-climates.  Farmers are able to use the Breede River to irrigate their vines, thus creating ideal grape growing conditions in an otherwise un-farmable part of South Africa.  The valley is an hour’s drive from Cape Town and more temperate than the Stellenbosch Valley – resulting in grapes that express good fruit characteristics without overripe jamminess.

Yet even with the cooler micro-climate and irrigation, South Africa had a very dry growing season. Unseasonable heat waves in December and February caused earlier-than-normal harvest schedules.  These heat waves also caused some varieties to become unavailable to us this year. Unfortunately due to this season’s climate and berries not reaching full maturity, the Cabernet and Merlot from South Africa did not meet our quality standards and thus will not be available this season. However, the Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc matured perfectly and are on their way to Connecticut. We expect the grapes to arrive around March 18th. While the hot and dry growing conditions this season will result in lighter yields, the berries will be more intense thus leading to more complex and intense finished wines.

Please pre-order South African grapes as last year we quickly sold out of the Pinotage.

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