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Dec 15, 2008 10:16 PM

Local source for grape must?

I want to make saba and savor, so I am wondering where I can buy grape must here in the Bay Area. I am also willing to crush the grapes myself. I guess that it should not be hard to find grapes (sangiovese?) with all the people that are making their own wine these days. I remember seeing bottles of grape juice sold at Village Market in the Ferry Building, however,
I suspect that they add something to the grapes to prevent fermentation.

Any ideas?


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  1. This year's grapes have all been harvested, the leaves have fallen and the vines are going to sleep for the winter. Next year you'll need to start looking a few months earlier.

    Would grape concentrate work?

    Or you might check with Crushpad in SF to see if there's any spare, unfermented juice around.

    2573 Third St, San Francisco, CA

    Oak Barrel Winecraft
    1443 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA

    1. Yep, you're too late for this year. Vines grown up in the hills would sometimes have a later growing season, and my family has picked second crop cabernet around thanksgiving to make jelly on years without too much rain, but everything just froze last night so the fruit is all ruined if it wasn't already eaten by birds or rotted from the rain last week.

      Next year, pick a few of your favorite small wineries, go wine tasting in early October and ask if you could pick some second crop for saba.

      1. You can get high-quality frozen must from Peter Brehm. The freezer is located in Richmond.
        Because these are meant for high-quality wines, the must is not cheap. Sangiovese will cost you $159 per pail.
        It is packed in 50-pound lots, in plastic pails. That amount will make 3 gallons of red wine, but might make more of saba -- which as I recall is not fermented.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Joel

          Thanks for the hint Joel, it seems that the frozen must is my only choice!

          1. re: Joel

            This link says the yield is 16-18liters from 100 liters of must due to the reduction.

            1. re: wolfe

              Well best of luck with home brew even if you have to use the after the harvest frozen must.If all else fails,after searching for Saba for a recipe I was preparing and seeing high priced versions on the internet and locally,I found a bottle at Michael Chiarello's Napa style store in Los Gatos,half the price but more than I needed.