What Makes a Grape Great?
We love grapes (vitis vinifera) because they are amazing for your skin! Rich in vitamins; potent tartaric alpha-hydroxy acid, plentiful in resveratrol packed antioxidants all help promote beautiful skin. That’s why we use organic grapeseed, grape juice, grape oil and grape stem cells as the base for our bestselling STEM CELLULAR Anti-Wrinkle Skincare Collection.
It’s Harvest Time!
Harvest occurs in the fall every year with the exact day completely dependent on the weather conditions and how the grapes have matured as judged by our expert vineyard managers and farmers. This year the harvest was quite early because we needed to get the grapes off the vines to avoid more high temperatures and before anymore awful fires ignited. Juice Beauty’s organic farm is in Sonoma County in the Dry Creek Valley area which has so many benefits to grow the perfect grape including soil that is rich in iron plus the ocean influence to cool down the nights from the super hot days creating a wide temperature range within any 24 hour period which nicely stresses the grapes. These conditions create the perfect “terroir” to develop high-end multi dimensional grapes.
At harvest time, scientific tests are done for sugar, acidity, ph, brix, and more but our vineyard managers (and Founder Karen’s cardiologist husband!) watch and taste the grapes daily to determine the exact time to harvest. A vineyard fun thing to do is to taste the grapes daily to help determine the exact perfect time for harvest.
The progression of grapes getting ready for harvest follows a sugar content taste spectrum going from young slightly bitter grapes --> Green Apple taste --> to a Cherry flavor --> to a Plum taste à and finally when they are ready for harvest, biting into a juicy cabernet or sagrantino grape will remind you of delicious jam.
To set the exact harvest day, it’s often a fun negotiation to watch! The grape growers argue with the grape buyers who negotiate with the harvest team until everyone agrees on a date as every interested party is balancing the “art and science” of grape growing and how to get the best crop. Lots of opinions!
The harvest is generally conducted in the middle of the night at the coolest, darkest time to protect the grapes from fermenting. What a treat to be able to witness a harvest! From the hills of the Juice Beauty farm one can see tractor lights and flood lights beaming out among multiple vineyards and hear the tunes of beautiful music of Mexico throughout the hills. The skilled harvest teams work incredibly fast and efficiently to this beautiful music in perfectly cool weather.
#CCOF Organic Certification
Next year our plan is to complete our #CCOForganic certification and then take some of the super grape produce for Juice Beauty’s best-selling Stem Cellular Collection. Juice Beauty uses many parts of the rich grape including grapeseed, grape oil, grape stem cells, resveratrol antioxidant, and grape juice. Although we love our current organic grape farmers, we can’t wait to use our own crops!
Juice Beauty’s Wine Partners
Since our 20-acre vineyard is quite prolific producing 4-5 tons of grapes per acre, we will still have plenty of grapes for our special wine partners. Our wine partners take our purified grape juice and make amazing and award-winning wines with our cabernet and our unique Sagrantino and Falanghina grapes, Dry Creek Winery, Ferrari Carano, Arnot Roberts and Inizi Wineries work their magic making the wine into Sagrantino, Cabernet, Meritage, Hillside and other high-end winery blends.
The Cabernet Harvest: Explained
The Cabernet harvest is done at night to keep the grapes cool and to keep them from fermenting. What a fun harvest! The workers move really quickly, music rocks the vineyard and the mood is festive but hardworking and efficient.
Headlamps & tractor lights illuminate the vineyard.
Grapes are dumped rom the small picking bins to the big bin.
Then the vineyard owner generally combs through each bin leafing & sorting to throw out obvious stems so it’s easier for the processing team.
The bins are loaded into trucks and taken to the Processing Company in downtown Healdsburg, California.
Workers comb the grapes out of the bin onto the sorters. (below)
The workers then pull out the obvious leaves and stems and then the grapes run up the conveyor belt to the mashing bin (below).
Vinification process starts:
The grapes then go into a dry ice bin to control the oxidation. This luscious mix smells and looks wonderful.