Verjus $17.00 (500mL bottle)
Released 21-Nov-2009 (click here for full label image including side panels).
Just like previous years (Verjus
2007, Verjus 2008), we have
produced a tiny amount of verjus. Verjus is a french word
from "ver" (green) and "jus" (juice). It is the juice squeezed from
grapes that are harvested before they're ripe -- also
refered to as a "green harvest". It can be used in cooking where you
might otherwise use lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
Sometimes you'll find verjus labelled as "red" or "white", which
indicates if the grapes it was made from are usually made into a red
wine or white. Ours is 100% Melon de Bourgogne, a white winegrape.
What to do with Verjus?
For a change I occassionaly like to add a touch to an afternoon shot
of espresso to take the hard edge off the espresso. (Italians do this
with a tiny wedge of lemon.)
We use it in a simple salmon preparation along with a bit of dill and
white pepper. We always have a bottle in the fridge and use a touch
here and there all the time. See the Recipes page of our website,
and/or go to your favorite web search engine, and look for "verjus"
and you'll find many great uses for it.
Why are we making a Verjus?
You may wonder why one would harvest the grapes before they're ripe?
Good question -- this is done when the grapevine is producing more
clusters than the viticulurist feels it can properly ripen. By
dropping some of the fruit, the vines resources will not be spread as
thin, thus it will ripen the remaining fruit more quickly. This can
be very important in a cool climate like ours where harvest decisions
can be forced by inclement weather. This practice is also often done
in warmer areas, however recent studies have shown it has little
overall effect when the ripening season is not limited.
This year has been a wonderfully warm season. Spring was cool later,
but once it warmed up, it was amazingly warm and dry, and most
incredibally, it stayed that way! So we did not need to thin crop for
weather purposes. However, we did choose to drop some fruit from the
Melon de Bourgogne this year as it is a very heavy cropper, regardless
of the fact that the plants are still quite young and may not be able
to support such a large crop. Our green harvest was a little after
veraison, meaning that there is a touch of sugar, thus it is not as
tart as last years.
This label features a commissioned artwork. Please visit our page
with more information about Dianne
Gardner of Port Orchard who painted this lovely cluster of
underripe winegrapes, ready to be made into verjus.