up-to-date Harvest 2012 information and grape status is
found in our newsletter below and is very consistent with
the summary information in our earlier letter of mid-August.
2012 Harvest and
Two short harvests in
California coupled with more Winery demand has resulted in
increased prices for California grapes that has not been
experienced in some time. The good news is that the 2012
harvest is shaping up to be a good one with much optimism
being expressed as we come into September. Delivery should
be earlier than the previous two years. Availability may be
a factor as we proceed through September and winemakers are
asked to order as early as possible. We hope to provide
reasonable alternatives if first choices are not available.
Niagara also is experiencing a good growing season on a pace
actually with many areas in California. Ed Hughes,
the 2011 Niagara Grape King,
is happy with the good crop and the potential for great
We look to Spain and the
region of Montsant
on the perimeter of Priorat
this year for a well priced frozen must.
Grenache Noir, Tempranillo,
Merlot and Syrah
will be available in November.
A Word on Grape
Although prices are
generally up, the home winemaker has many choices at Preston
Hardware, whether in the Premium or lower priced grapes and
While this newsletter deals
with the more Premium end of the market, we also sell grapes
at lower prices in the Classico line (click here for
currently available varietals and prices) and juices from Mosti Mondiale. Their products are generally available
at all times during the grape season and do not require
At the Premium end, larger
purchases of grapes can be purchased in bulk at a discount.
If you or your group are purchasing more than 25 boxes of a
variety, you may want to bring it in in 900 L bins. Please phone for details.
While we provide order forms
for what we consider “best buy” grapes, there are many other
high-end grapes from other regions of California available.
California consists of about 30 “crush districts” which set
grape prices based on market forces. Most grapes sold to
home winemakers are from the mid-range or lower. Our
suppliers do offer high-end grapes with correspondingly
higher prices. Cabernet
Sauvignon grapes from one of
most famous vineyards can be had for $299 a box. Another
famous Napa Cab is at $175 while
Carneros Pinot Noir is priced at $125.
There are Sonoma
grapes and other regional varieties below this price point.
All of these grapes are subject to timing of harvest and
availability. The highest priced grapes tend to be
committed before the season starts.
If you are interested in
what is available and in pricing or, if LOTO 649 just
changed your life, give us a call.
Niagara grapes (20 litre pails) -
reds - crushed and de-stemmed grapes ;
whites - settled juice
The season is moving along
well into September and we expect the first shipment about
the third week in September. Ed Hughes is providing
Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Gamay and a
Pre-order is necessary but a deposit is not required.
22.7 litre pails of settled juice
Due to market conditions,
our original juice provider is not producing premium
speciality juices this year. We therefore turn to our
Premium grape source, Delta Packing, for our California
fresh juices. These 22.7 litre pails come under the familiar
“Lodi Gold” label and are processed at a local Lodi
Frozen grape must from
crushed and de-stemmed grapes in 22 litre pails
We are introducing frozen grape must this year from
Spain, a region that perimeters
the famous Priorat Region.
Montsant is known
for deep concentrated red wines. The vineyards are located
in a spectacular hilly region averaging 1,400 feet above sea
level although trending higher
toward mountain ranges in the southwest and northwest.
Soils are lime bearing over a granite and slate subsoil.
There are almost 2,000 hectares under production. We will
be selling Grenache Noir,
Tempranillo, Merlot and
Syrah at an introductory price not
exceeding $125 per pail. Delivery will be in November.
Pails will be 22 litres in volume and weigh approximately 55
lbs. For these musts, a $50. deposit per pail will be
required with your order.
Pete Bradford and Maria
Cameron, featured in the Globe and Mail, August 29, 2012,
have established the
House Cooperage in Prince Edward County wine country.
The two craft barrels from
Canadian Oak sourced around the “County” and the Ottawa
Valley. They will be coming to Preston Hardware on
Saturday, September 22, 2012 to give demonstrations on
barrel making and answer questions about their craft. They
will also be able to receive home winemakers' barrels for
future re-coopering. Bring your barrels Saturday,
September 22 and discuss your needs with Pete and
Maria. They will also be bringing barrels to sell. More
details will follow.
Note on my
I will not be working
everyday at Preston during Harvest 2012, so please call
ahead if you want to see me during your visit.
We appreciate your business
and commitment to quality home wine making and the the
effort that involves. Let's keep the tradition going.