Continuing the Grape Juice Tradition

My family has been growing grapes for many years now. Gramawama, grandpa, and my uncle Michael make juice and jelly out of it. My grandparents are using grapes that they started growing many years ago and have even transplanted into a new house. I’ve never had the chance to see the process or do any of it myself, but Michael had too many grapes to deal with so my time finally arrived!

Here is Michael’s arbor.

This is the juicer (you can get them on ). It is a triple tiered pot. On the bottom you put water. The middle is where juice flows from the top, which is a colander where the grapes go.

Here are the grapes. A lot, huh?

As the water boils it heats the grapes up and they release their juices. The juices drip down into the middle chamber and flow through a pipe into hot mason jars. Because the liquid is so hot, the mason jars, lids, and rings are hot, I’m able to wipe the rims and put the lids on without processing in a water bath. They seal on their own after about forty minutes on the counter.
Once the grapes are totally juiced it leaves a thick mash of remains in the top.

The grape juice is unlike anything you’ll buy in the store. It is tart, so fresh, and has an irresistible purple color.

I like to mix it with a can of frozen limeade. It makes a bright pink, tasty frozen drink. It’s good to drink straight if you can handle the tartness. I also mixes well with limeade and sprite for punch. Gramawama makes the absolute best grape jelly out of it.

The process isn’t without its dangers. If you accidentally spill any of it, it stains like crazy and will burn your hands. If you have the chance to make grape juice with one of these, be careful!

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5 Responses to Continuing the Grape Juice Tradition

  1. Randi says:

    Gorgeous photos!

  2. Angela says:

    As elliewellie notes, the grape juice is unlike anything you’ll ever find in the store. Our family serves it with Thanksgiving dinner instead of wine. The tartness really cuts through and complements the richness of the meal. My father (elliewellie’s grandfather) also recently let me know that the tartar in the fresh juice is good for infections, along with the benefits of all the antioxidants. Here in the Northwest climate, the grapes grow wonderfully on fences and arbors we eagerly anticipate the fresh juice from the fall harvest.

  3. Seasonsgirl says:

    Very cool 😉 Photos are very nice 🙂

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