Technique

Making Wine From Juice

You may be curious about a way of making wine intermediate between using fresh fruit and making kit wines. Increasingly popular, the hobby of making wine from grape juice comes in two formats: sterile and frozen. In turning these juices into fine wine, the winemaker uses steps and processes from both the fresh and concentrate sides of the practice. Frozen juice for winemaking got its start in the 1970s when Peter Brehm (now of Brehm Vineyards) owned a homebrew shop in Berkeley, California. At that time, North American wine grapes (Vitis vinifera) were mainly grown in California and a few other places, and that severely limited the options for home winemakers. Since the days of Prohibition, some fresh grapes had made their way to eastern US and Canadian cities by rail, though they often didn’t arrive in the best of shape. Brehm wondered if it might be possible to put red grapes through a stemmer/crusher, and freeze the unfermented must. White grapes could be both crushed and pressed, with only the juice frozen. Once put in buckets, frozen and stored,