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Wine Articles --> What's In Your Wine? Part II

What's In Your Wine? Part II
A Dirty Little Secret Follow Up..

Previously I wrote about grape concentrate wine additives like Mega Purple and speculated about how widely they are used in wine making and invited comments. The silence has been deafening. A friend in the business managed to elicit this single sentence response from someone at U.C. Davis.

"Widely used for color. And NOT just in the under $20 wines."

Andrew Waterhouse
Viticulture and Enology
University of California

And, Doug Badenoch, owner of the Wine Gallery in Bozeman, Montana, picked up our article for his newsletter, The Grapevine, and added his own research...

"After reading Doug's article, I did my own research and although no one would outright name the brands or vintners who regularly use concentrates, it appears by description that many of the Central Valley producers and "jug wine" makers are the heavy users. Manufacturing grape concentrate has even become a big part of the wine industry because there are more and more vineyards being planted with Rubired (Rubired is the grape used to make Mega Purple) where the grapes are harvested at a yield of 14-20 tons per acre. Compare that rate to 5-6 tons per acre for premium grapes and you get an idea of the scope of the market for concentrate.

For jug wine producers, the quality of the crop is not as important as the yield so irrigation, fertilizing, dusting with insecticides, pesticides and fungicides allows bigger crops. Mechanical harvesting and processing keeps costs low and volume high. The wine itself isn't too good but by adding grape concentrate, rich color and more sweetness and flavor bring the wine up to a grade where most consumers are pleased with the "bang for the buck" they get from these engineered wines. "

The more people I ask about this issue, the more I hear the words "no one wants to talk about this" and trust me, it's not just jug wines...

What's in Your Wine? Part I