Harvest 2012 Newsletter


Harvest 2012 Season...


Dear Fellow Winemakers,


Our 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 Market Conditions

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 wine.

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 Prices

Although prices are generally up, the home winemaker has many choices at Preston Hardware, whether in the Premium or lower priced grapes and juices.

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 special ordering.

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 Napa Valley's 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 Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Gamay and a White Blend. Pre-order is necessary but a deposit is not required.

California Fresh Juices –
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    winery.

Frozen grape must from Spain –
crushed and de-stemmed grapes in 22 litre pails

We are introducing frozen grape must this year from Montsant  D.O. Spain, a region that perimetersPriorat vineyard the famous Priorat RegionMontsant 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.

The Carriage House Cooperage

Pete Bradford and Maria Cameron, featured in the Globe and Mail, August 29, 2012, have established the Carriage 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 availability...

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.

in Vino Veritas,
Mac MacDonald


(updated 2012-09-04)

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Preston Hardware, 248 Preston Street

Ottawa, ON Canada K1R 7R4

Tel: 613-230-7166 Fax: 613-232-8957

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