Frequently Asked Questions...

If you have a question and do not see the question or answer below. Please send an email to makewine@westcoastgrapes.com and we will try our best to answer it.

Q: What area are you in?
A: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego & Seattle.

Q: Is the juice bottled or in barrels?
A: Juice comes in 5.3, 6 gallon plastic buckets. 55 gallon food grade drums also available.

Q: Can you send me the price list and also what clone variety and area the grapes come from?
A: Yes, please send an email to makewine@westcoastgrapes.com to get more information. Please specify which grapes and we will get that information to you as quickly as possible.

Q: Do you purchase the grapes or grow them? Are they grown out-of-state? Who are you?
A: We do not grow the grapes.. West Coast Grapes is a California licensed grape distributer. All the grapes we offer are grown on multiple farms in California.. Soon we are going to offer grapes from Chile. Please send an email to makewine@westcoastgrapes.com to learn more about Chilean grapes.

Q: I just want enough for home wine making and not have to drive up to the Napa valley or the Bay area. Do you deliver?
A: Yes, We Deliver. Please send an email to makewine@westcoastgrapes.com with your contact information, quantity and location so we can get you a price to be delivered to you home or winery.

Q: Any sulfites in juice?
A: Yes. FSo2 is 35-40ppm

Q: What is brix or sugar content?
A: Brix is what we use to measure sugar content, please send an email to makewine@westcoastgrapes.com about what grape you are looking for and we can get you the brix as soon as the product is picked.

Q: Which is better for aging and storing wine, oak or stainless steel barrels?
A: Both barrels have their advantages and disadvantages.

New oak barrels are quite expensive so most home wine-makers buy used barrels. While they are less expensive, they are used which means that they add less “oak” to the wine than a new barrel. That is why wineries or distilleries sell off these barrels.

Oak barrels, new or used, also have some distinct disadvantages.
• Oak allows wine to evaporate through it, meaning that one must be vigilant and add wine to “top off” the barrel to keep it full. Air and wine do not mix well at all.
• When you start to tap the barrel for consumption (or when you rack it), once the barrel is no longer full, it must be emptied into smaller containers (car-boys or bottles), again due to not wanting to let air touch the wine.
• Once the barrel is empty, it must be maintained to avoid the development of mold. This is typically done by keeping the barrel full of water with a mixture of chemicals to keep it “sweet”. It also must be periodically “topped off” to keep it full.

Stainless steel barrels are more expensive than used oak barrels, but they have some distinct advantages:
• first, since they are steel, there is no evaporation.
• Second, since they have a floating lid (kept tight by an air bladder), they are by far the easiest way to store and tap wine.
• Third, the only maintenance for an empty stainless steel barrel is rinsing it out when empty.
• Forth, by adding toasted oak cubes (available in light, medium, or dark roast of various wood types) during the aging process, you can easily get the equivalent of a new oak barrel each and every wine season.

Can you tell, we have tried both and prefer stainless steel. In either case, for the home wine-maker, we suggest building a rack to hold the barrel (oak or stainless), high enough to facilitate racking and tapping, and on wheels to help in moving wine in or out or around in your wine-cellar. We can help with that.

Q: Do I need to add sulfites?
A: Not necessarily. Sulfites are primarily used as a preservative, to insure that wine has a long shelf life. However, if you are sulfilte sensitive, there is no need to add sulfiltes. However, this means that your wine will need to be consumed within 1-2 of years after it is ready. Please be aware, that even without adding sulfites, there are natural sulfites in all wine.