Recently we spent a weekend in Eugene, Oregon. We had one beautiful day perfect for a long bike ride and one very rainy day. We spent the rainy day making grape juice. Our friends had an abundance of grapes on their property and a good friend of theirs also had buckets of grapes from his property. What better an activity for a wet, rainy day then making grape juice.
The process was rather easy.
First the grapes were plucked off the stems and rinsed gently in a bowl of water. Once the grapes were picked through to removed any loose stems and debris they were crushed to release the juice.
Crushing the Grapes.
There are several ways you can crush grapes, with your fingers, with a Foley mill and with this amazing contraption that was designed perfectly for making juice. It was a metal cone with a specially designed wooden piece made to fit in the cone and pushed against the side with your hand. The ball on top perfectly fit in your hand and makes rolling it around very easy. In no time at all we were making juice!
Once you’ve managed to get as much juice out of the grapes as possible the grapes skins were set aside in another bowl. Later all the skins would be placed in a cheesecloth bag for further squeezing. No juice was wasted!
Enjoying the Grape Juice.
We then compared the two varieties of grapes. They were both delicious but one variety was definitely sweeter than the other. For the most part the juice from the two varieties was kept separate.
Once all the juice was collected it was placed in glass jars, and plastic bags to go into the freezer. The juice is so strong that our friends said they usually dilute it 1:4. What a satisfying days work and our friends now have a freezer full of grape juice.
There is something so satisfying about a group of friends gathering together to work on a project. It’s a good feeling to actually be able to see the fruits of your labor when you are finished. It also made me wonder if we could grow some grapes on our little piece of property?