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Should I use Juice, Grapes or Concentrate to make wine?

Should I use Juice, Grapes or Concentrate to make wine?

  • Grape juice concentrates - Grape juice from vineyards undergoes an advanced process to concentrate without removing the flavor of the juice. The concentrates are typically available in cans from wine making supply stores; and make five gallon quantities upon the addition of the appropriate amount of water.
  • Grape Juice - Many vineyards sell grape juice in large quantities to wine makers at the time of harvest. This juice is pressed from their grapes and not treated with preservatives.
  • Grapes - Obviously the traditional way to make wine. Many vineyards sell grapes in bulk to wine makers. The wine maker then users a press at home to extract the juice.

Concentrates vs. Real Juice vs. Pressing Grapes

The starting ingredients for wine depends on your wants, budget, and accessibility to grapes and juice. As a result, I have listed the advantages and disadvantages of each possible wine making starting point to help with the selection.

Method Advantages Disadvantages
  • Largest variety and selections of grapes available. It is possible to obtain just about any type of grape possible
  • Wine can be made at any point in the year. There is no need to make wine during a limitedharvest window
  • Easiest method for beginners
  • Quality can vary wildly. Often wine from concentrates is not as ‘full’ bodied.
  • Typically, highest quality grapes and juice are not used to make concentrates.
  • Juice
  • Much less labor intensive than making wine from grapes. Equipment such as a wine press not needed.
  • Very economical--Especially considering the labor savings.
  • Juice only available in a limited time frame around the grape harvest. Red wines made from juice will not have the ‘flavorings’ from a skin fermentation.
  • Grapes
  • The true way to make wine
  • Probably the most economical, especially if you grow your own grapes, or can get your grapes for free.
  • Best results can be obtained from grapes (if you have the skill).
  • Very labor intensive
  • Grapes only availably in a limited time frame around the grape harvest.
  • Limited varieties may br available.
  • Most difficult of all methods

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