What is the difference between grape concentrate and pure juice?
Grape concentrate is made by heating and boiling grape juice at a reduced pressure to eliminate 75 to 80% of the water naturally present in the fruit. There are a variety of sizes for concentrates ranging from 6.3 litres to 18 litres. In each case water is added back into the concentrate to bring it up to 23 litres of juice. We use only Reverse Osmosis water when we make a concentrate kit.
Several qualities for which grapes are valued in wine making can be largely lost during the concentration process especially fragrance, colour, tannins and varietal character.
The addition of invert sugar, which is resistant to crystallization, is added to grape concentrate to prolong the shelf life. While invert sugar is great for baking it does not make for great wine. Invert sugar will make wine taste thin and give it a tart and empty aftertaste.
Sometimes, to compensate for the colour lightening characteristics of invert sugar, some producers will add dies to the concentrate to re-darken it. Some will include an additional package of tannin flavouring to make up for lost taste during the concentration process.
For these reasons, wine made from grape concentrates will not taste the same as wine made from pure grape juice. Pure grape juice is essentially the juice that is extracted from wine grapes, before any major processing. It retains a varietal’s main organoleptic qualities and characteristics and transfers them to the wine. Given a choice, always choose a pure juice with original sugars over concentrates to get a more full-bodied, longer lasting and better tasting wine.
Pure Juice Kits are what we are known for, but we also carry a full line of our Gold Medallion concentrate for those who prefer the taste. They all taste great and we are sure to have one to match up with your palate.