LTH Home

Grapes for Winemaking

Grapes for Winemaking
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Grapes for Winemaking

    Post #1 - October 22nd, 2005, 1:41 pm
    Post #1 - October 22nd, 2005, 1:41 pm Post #1 - October 22nd, 2005, 1:41 pm
    Early this fine Saturday morning, Gwiv and I were meandering around Bridgeport and its surrounding neighborhoods when we noticed on the corner of 35th and Racine a sign that said “grapes for sale”. Intrigued, we pulled into the large corner lot and noticed about 5 semis filled with boxes of grapes, with some new and used Whiskey barrels as well as taps and other paraphernalia.
    As it turns out, the Italian gentlemen there work for the Santa Fe Grape Distributors and sell a wide variety of freshly picked grapes from California. These include Alicante, Cabernet, Carignane, Grenache, Muscat, and Zinfindel. The prices range from $24-$27 for a 36 pound box. They say that most of their customers are neighborhood Italians who make simple homemade wines in glass bottles. Mario also informed us that they have about 1000 cases of grapes left and that should be completely sold no later than the end of the month. He said that they have been selling grapes at this location every September and October for 15 years or so. They have always sold out everything.
    If you’re into winemaking and need fresh grapes, this might be your place. Even if you’re not, it’s a hoot just to check out.

    Santa Fe Grape Distributors
    3500 S. Racine Ave.
    (773) 376-7505


    Image

    Image
  • Post #2 - October 22nd, 2005, 2:43 pm
    Post #2 - October 22nd, 2005, 2:43 pm Post #2 - October 22nd, 2005, 2:43 pm
    Pigmon:

    I know a number of these "neighbourhood Italians"* who make their wine each fall, a few well and a further four or five in passing. I've also heard lots of stories concerning the business and politics of scoring good grapes. It's all quite amusing to me but fairly serious for the folks who invest lots of time and energy and money in making their own wine for the year.

    The quality of the homemade wines I've tried over the years varies -- not surprisingly -- wildly, from really pretty strange to remarkably tasty. Someone I know here in Tri-Taylor has produced some good ones that I've gotten to sample.

    If you seek some of the materials needed for making wine, including, I believe, wooden casks, Chiarugi Hardware on the eastside of Taylor (across from Conte di Savoia) carries a fair amount.

    I'm looking forward very much to the appearance of Rue de Tailleur Nouveau.

    Antonius

    * The phrase really seems to be an accurate one, at least from my experience in Chicago (and Jersey). For one thing, this is an old fashioned practice and, for another, it seems to go hand-in-hand with an attitude that especially prizes extended family and/or neighbourhood gatherings.
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #3 - October 23rd, 2005, 12:37 am
    Post #3 - October 23rd, 2005, 12:37 am Post #3 - October 23rd, 2005, 12:37 am
    One of my good friend (yes, an Italian guy), gets all his grapes from this market. He informs me that all the good grapes have pretty much been snatched up by now (he bought & pressed his grapes about 3 weeks ago).

    It absolutely amazes me the quality of wine you can make in a basement in Oak Park, if you just know what you're doing. I helped him press grapes last year, and we had a sampling of 6 wines, 2 different varietals from 3 different vintages. Two of them were still too young, but the others--I would not be embarrased to serve them to guest with dinner. Fantastic wine equal to stuff you'd pay $15 for.

    Maybe one day. For the moment, I only have the patience to brew beer. Wine takes much longer.
  • Post #4 - October 23rd, 2005, 11:21 am
    Post #4 - October 23rd, 2005, 11:21 am Post #4 - October 23rd, 2005, 11:21 am
    Lots of local Poles make their own wine, too. They don't stick to grapes, though. They start with dandelions in the spring and go right on through with whatever's in season. I once tasted an amazing tomato wine.

    I confess my wine-making experiments were never very successful. I once tried to make mead, and achieved a substance that tasted exactly like cough syrup.

    I've had much better luck with homemade liqueurs. Hmm, the holidays are coming. Perhaps I should start a few batches.
  • Post #5 - October 23rd, 2005, 5:10 pm
    Post #5 - October 23rd, 2005, 5:10 pm Post #5 - October 23rd, 2005, 5:10 pm
    If the grapes aren't shipped in reefer trucks, and you don't get the grapes a day or so after they arrive, making *good* wine is just about impossible. Esp. from the whites: the enzymatic breakdown at ambient temps in mid-Sept promotes rapid oxydation. Brown wine, in other words.

    But, if you get the grapes in good shape, and know what you're doing, making good, decent, clean wine at home is relatively easy.

    Once upon a time, I owned 14 acres of grapes, and a 10K gal/yr winery. That was then. Now, it's a couple of backyards-full of vines, 36 in KC, 65 in Whitewater. Once you've lived with vines, it's simply impossible to ever even *imagine* a life without them.

    I make some wine every year here in KC--won't get the chance to do it in Whitewater, unfortunately--and some of it turns out good enough to share happily with friends.

    I've got some pix from the last crush, if I could only figure out how to embed them in the msg--are there instructions somewhere around here about how to mount images??

    And if anyone would like to try their hand at either grapegrowing or winemaking, I'd be your most enthusiastic first responder!

    Geo[/img]
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #6 - October 24th, 2005, 12:52 am
    Post #6 - October 24th, 2005, 12:52 am Post #6 - October 24th, 2005, 12:52 am
    Antonius wrote:I've also heard lots of stories concerning the business and politics of scoring good grapes. It's all quite amusing to me but fairly serious for the folks who invest lots of time and energy and money in making their own wine for the year...


    Geo wrote:If the grapes aren't shipped in reefer trucks, and you don't get the grapes a day or so after they arrive, making *good* wine is just about impossible. Esp. from the whites: the enzymatic breakdown at ambient temps in mid-Sept promotes rapid oxydation. Brown wine, in other words.


    Geo:

    Thanks for more concrete information about the issues surrounding quality of the grapes. Now I understand better the conversations and stories I've heard.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #7 - August 10th, 2013, 7:18 am
    Post #7 - August 10th, 2013, 7:18 am Post #7 - August 10th, 2013, 7:18 am
    I was wondering if anybody out there knows other locations that sell grapes for winemaking.

    Thanks!
  • Post #8 - August 10th, 2013, 9:10 am
    Post #8 - August 10th, 2013, 9:10 am Post #8 - August 10th, 2013, 9:10 am
    Wiz,

    Take a look at this website: http://www.brehmvineyards.com/

    They are totally reliable and ship excellent product.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #9 - August 16th, 2013, 7:55 pm
    Post #9 - August 16th, 2013, 7:55 pm Post #9 - August 16th, 2013, 7:55 pm
    Geo wrote:Wiz,

    Take a look at this website: http://www.brehmvineyards.com/

    They are totally reliable and ship excellent product.


    Thanks for the link. We usually get the crates from around 35th in racine, and it's usually about 25 to 30 bucks a crate. I've never dealt with the frozen pails before, so about how many pounds do you get in a pail? Is it the full grape, the juice, or grape and vine?

    Thanks!
  • Post #10 - August 17th, 2013, 9:14 am
    Post #10 - August 17th, 2013, 9:14 am Post #10 - August 17th, 2013, 9:14 am
    It's the whole grape, crushed and ready to go. I think each pail makes c. 5 gals. Grapes in lugs are c. 30 lbs (IIRC) and make c. 2 gals.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #11 - September 24th, 2015, 8:24 pm
    Post #11 - September 24th, 2015, 8:24 pm Post #11 - September 24th, 2015, 8:24 pm
    Santa Fe is back at the corner of Racine and 35th with crates of grapes for do-it-yourself winemakers.
  • Post #12 - September 24th, 2015, 10:48 pm
    Post #12 - September 24th, 2015, 10:48 pm Post #12 - September 24th, 2015, 10:48 pm
    Caputo's in Carol Stream supplied the grapes for making "Neu Wein" (new wine) to accompany a cooking class at the DANK Haus last Friday night. Caputo's also made the wine.

    Caputo's
    520 North Ave
    Carol Stream, IL 60188
    (630) 480-8200

    DANK Haus German American Cultural Center
    4740 North Western Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773.561.9181

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more