The Grape is probably the oldest of domesticated fruits. It is probable that wine was made from it before the species was brought into cultivation. It seems to have been cultivated at the dawn of history. Its product was certainly no rarity in Noah’s time. The Grape of history is the Old World Vitis vinifera, the “wine-bearing Vitis,” probably native to Asia. The paramount use of the Grape always has been the production of wine. A subsidiary value is the production of raisins; and another is the production of fruit for the dessert and for culinary uses.
I know many people who will seek out, and pay a premium for organic produce, free range eggs, grass fed beef; maybe they belong to a CSA, know the name of their farmer and have a “hug a farmer” bumper sticker on the back of their car. Despite this general elevated awareness regarding food and farming, these same people often think nothing of buying a bottle of poorly made, cheap industrial wine. There is a disconnect here which I don’t entirely understand, though I have some ideas. It’s true that wine has a certain high society element associated with it, and not wanting to appear “snobby,” these folks pride themselves on drinking Two Buck Chuck out of a jelly jar. If they had any idea what went into the making of that wine, they would throw it out as quickly as they would a liter of Diet Coke or a package of Twinkies.
Two general methods are employed in preparing pasteurized grape juice; these are known as the hot-press method, which is the older, and the cold-press method, which is simpler and more generally applicable. The essential difference between the two methods is indicated by the terms employed to designate them. In the hot-press method the crushed fruit is heated and the juice removed by pressing the fruit while hot; in the cold-press method no heat is employed when extracting the juice. By the cold-press method clear, brilliant juices are obtained, while the use of the hot-press method secures a somewhat larger yield of dark, more or less viscid juice.