There is a great spread of prices between our different brands of wine making juices. Some are in the $30 range while some are over $200. Many of our customers simply wonder why.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Level Of Concentration:
The first reason has to do with the how much these wine making juices are concentrated. At one end of the spectrum is our SunCal brand juice that comes in a 46 ounce can (about 1-1/2 quarts) for producing 5 gallons of wine. On the other end of the spectrum are our 18 liter wine ingredient kits (4.75 gallons) that is only slightly concentrated for making 6 gallons of wine. One is just much more concentrated than the other. Higher levels of concentration tend to take out some of the finer subtleties of a wine, making the wine more a everyday-drinker. Wine making juices that have been concentrated less or not at all will have flavors that can develop into something more complex or layered as it is aged.
- The Selection Of Grape
Not all grapes are the same. Where and how they are grown can make a big difference. The soil, the climate, the age of the vines, all come into play when evaluating the grapes. Simply put, certain regions can command a higher price for there grapes because they make better wines. So, as you go up in price, you are going up in grape selection as well. This is no different than wines you buy commercially at the store. As a general rule-of-thumb, the better the selection of grape the more you will pay for the wine.
Having Said All This. . .
How much money you’ll want to put into the quality of a wine making juice may be different than the next winemaker. This has to do with how well you are able to discern the difference between various levels of quality. It makes no sense for you to buy a level of quality you are unable to taste, appreciate or even looking for.
Some of our customers are completely happy making wine from nothing but our SunCal selection. They use this brand over and over again and are completely satisfied with the quality. They can see no reason to spend anymore on wine making juices based on the quality they are already getting.
Other winemakers consider SunCal an everyday, common wine that they would not want to put their efforts into. These home winemakers would prefer to spend their time making more top-end wines.
The Bottom Line…
Figure out what level of quality suites your level of wine appreciation. Start out with maybe our California Connoisseur or European Select. These are mid-range wine making juices. After that maybe try a KenRidge Classic or a Cellar Craft Sterling and see what you think. By trying different levels you should be able to hone in on what is best for you.
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.