Harvest 2015 Newsletter

Harvest 2015 is in full swing, another early year!  If you are still looking for grapes this year, consider ordering fresh grapes or even buckets of juice from West Coast Grapes - they have a great selection of varietals available and have yielded excellent wines the past several seasons, including Best in Class Montepulciano at the 2015 San Diego County Fair.  Don't delay - last day to order is Thursday September 3rd!  Details below, including a drawing for a FREE bucket of juice.

Holton and Hollen Best in Class 2015

RJ Spagnols Restricted Quantity 2015/2016 kits have been announced - preorder yours by Sunday October 11, 2015 to be sure you get one of these exceptional wines!  More details and links to preorder kits below.

West Coast Grapes delivery Saturday September 12th at Curds and Wine

We are here to help you get some fresh grapes for your home winemaking this harvest season!  We will once again be a pick-up point for fresh grapes from West Coast Grapes, pricing and availability is now online for 2015.Grapes from West Coast Grapes

Grapes are purchased directly through West Coast Grapes, we are a pick-up point only, no sales on site for these grapes! Please note, we cannot store these grapes, they will start spontaneously fermenting if you do not pick them up the day they arrive.  Grapes will arrive at Curds and Wine for pick up on Saturday September 12th, last day to order is Thursday September 3rd.  Your name will be called when they locate your order, and you will be responsible for picking up your boxes from the delivery truck.  We cannot give a specific time as orders will be pulled from the truck as they were loaded, but the truck should arrive by 10 am - please plan to spend a few hours as it takes time to unload the grapes from the truck.


We will have a crusher/destemmer available to run these grapes through for a $25 processing fee for up to 500 lbs, another $10 fee for every additional 500 lbs; crush tickets must be prepurchased at Curds and Wine before you take your grapes to get crushed.  We will have a crush list in order of purchase of crush tickets on delivery day, purchasing your ticket ahead of time will be a benefit!  Please remember to bring containers that will fit in your vehicle to transport the must back home as the grapes arrive in open wooden or plastic boxes.

crushing west coast grapes

Please note: only grapes delivered from West Coast Grapes can be processed on site at Curds and Wine, all other processing must be done off site and equipment returned clean and in working order.


We do not offer any winemaking on site with fresh grapes except our Hands-on Harvest and Grapes to Glass courses. These courses are sold out for 2015, but if you are interested in getting on the waiting list for Harvest 2016 please contact us.

Drawing for Free Bucket of Juice for West Coast Grapes orders picked up at Curds and Wine!

As a bonus to Curds and Wine customers, we will have a drawing for a free bucket of juice from West Coast Grapes! For every box of fresh grapes you purchase from West Coast Grapes to be picked up at Curds and Wine you will get one drawing entry.

WCG juice bucket

Please send us a copy of your purchase receipts for the drawing; the drawing will be held Friday September 4th and the winner will be announced on our Facebook page and by Twitter. The winner will be notified by email so they can place their order for their bucket of choice out of the available buckets listed on the gift certificate you will be given (choice of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, barbera, sangiovese, zinfandel, syrah, chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc juice). This bucket of juice will be brought to Curds and Wine with the fresh grape deliveries.

Only submitted entries will be part of the drawing, West Coast Grapes will not be providing us with a list of customers.  Send us your proof of purchase to enter the drawing.


Featured Item:  ELIOS Malolactic Bacteria

This malolactic bacteria is adapted to high alcohol and contributes to tannin and mouthfeel intensity of finished wine. Lalvin MBR ICV Elios 1® was isolated by the ICV from a spontaneous malolactic fermentation for use in warm region red wines with high alcohol (15.5% v/v) and high pH. Performs well when pH is above 3.4, temperatures are 18-25ºC(64-77ºF) and total SO2 levels are Oenococcus oeni strains and was found to have a superior sensory profile. Contributes to the mouthfeel of the finished wine by enhancing the perception of overall tannin intensity while avoiding green and vegetative characters.

If you are having difficulty getting your malolactic fermentation to complete in a high alcohol red wine, try Elios in combination with ML Red Boost nutrient; also be sure your pH is above 3.4 (use potassium bicarbonate to reduce acid/increase pH).  Elios is available for 6.6 gallon or 66 gallon batches at Curds and Wine. 



RJ Spagnols Restricted Quantity 2015/2016 - Preorder by Sunday October 11th!

Unmask the celebration

Each year, RJ Spagnols Craft Winemaking releases special wines kits specifically chosen to feature the best of the world's harvest. These kits are only available in 'Restricted Quantities' and must be pre-ordered before their release.  The 2016 Restricted Quantities program – A Festival of Festivals – are inspired by local celebrations that take place in four of the world’s most famous wine regions. It is our hope that by making and enjoying these wines, we will inspire you to create your own festivities.


Preorder these exceptional wines by Sunday October 11, 2015.  

December 2015 release - Tjungu - blend of Australian Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Malbec $174.95

January 2016 release - Carrusel - Argentinian Chardonnay & Viognier $156.95

February 2016 release - La Batalla - Spanish Tempranillo, Grenache & Cabernet Sauvignon $174.95

March 2016 release - Carnevale - Italy Pinot Grigio & Sauvignon Blanc $ 156.95


2016 RJS RQ bottles

Wishing You a Wine and Cheese Filled Holiday Season December
FIVE Year Anniversary! November
American Cheese Month October
Harvest 2015 September
Another Early Harvest Year? August
Congratulations Award Winners July
Summer Cider Time! June
Time to Make Wine for the Holidays! May
Spring Breezes, Wine and Cheeses April
Cider, Mead, Wine and Cheese March
Learn to Love to Make Your Own Wine & Cheese! February
Cheers and Cheese 2015 January

American Wine Society Amateur Winemaking Competition - entries due October 23, 2015


The American Wine Society Amateur Winemakers Competition has been held annually for over 40 years.  American Wine Society (AWS) certified judges score and critique submitted wines. AWS judges have completed a rigorous 3 year training program, supplemented by extensive hands-on experience and periodic recertification. These judges are often sought out and invited to participate in major US wine competitions. The same guidelines and evaluation techniques will be used for both the Commercial and Amateur competitions with one exception. Amateur winemakers will receive the actual scoring sheets and judges’ comments for each of their submitted wines. This insightful feedback usually includes suggestions for improvements, when needed, and is often found to be more valuable than winning an award medal.

All kit wines will be judged as a separate category in the same varietal groupings as non-kit wines. “Best In Show Kit Wine” will be awarded as well as “Best in Category”, e.g. Best Vinifera where at least 5 wines are entered. We believe this allows kit winemakers to compare their skills among their peer winemakers. This competition category will utilize the same judges and evaluation techniques as all other portions of the Amateur and Commercial competitions.

The 2015 Amateur Wine Competition will be held on November 3-5, just prior to the 2015 AWS Conference at the Sheraton in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Deadline for entry is October 23, 2015; Delivery of wine is accepted between September 8 and October 23, 2015 to the designated address:

6190 Georgetown Road
Broad Run VA 20137

Competition Inquiries:
Email or Call: 814-935-2808

Competition brochure including entry form and categories for entry available on the AWS website

Note: AWS Members pay $25/entry and Non-members pay $35/entry.  Good luck!