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Rated G

Holidays are the perfect time for a family get together and provide great occasions to open a bottle of Navarro grape juice. There is always somebody who doesn't consume alcohol, be it the kids at the table or the designated driver. Dealcoholized wine tastes mediocre, at best, which is why Navarro sticks to grape juice. Navarro's juice is cold-filtered rather than pasteurized, so the wine-grape flavors are fresh and lively and remarkably like wine made from the same grape varieties. Gewürztraminer, harvested from our Pond and Damface vineyards, has rose-like, floral aromas and fills the mouth with tropical flavors suggesting lychee and peach; Pinot Noir is a garnet colored juice with flavors suggesting strawberry and rhubarb. Both are harvested when the grapes have just become ripe; the juices are naturally sweet but the grape's high acidity keeps the juice refreshing and clean. Verjus, green juice, is produced from unripe, acidic grapes; this vintage we harvested and pressed Chardonnay grapes from our Hammer Olsen vineyard.
We first made varietal grape juice from our vines when our son, Aaron, was a toddler. Now, his little girls are enjoying Navarro grape juices. [left] Not surprisingly Navarro wine grape juices are bottled just like the wine and sealed with a cork. Serve them well chilled and once open, the juices should be refrigerated.
Harvesting Gewürztraminer for juice. [below] Within a couple of hours of picking, the grapes are de-stemmed, pressed and then the juice is quickly racked to a refrigerated stainless steel tank to cool. After reaching 33°F, the juice is then filtered to prevent fermentation; the flavors in the bottle are the same as the grapes on the vine.

When the berries began to soften, we removed clusters to lighten the crop to assure that each vine would produce equally ripe fruit at harvest; the fruit removed was destemmed and pressed and the green juice cold-filtered to preserve the fresh wine-grape flavors. Verjus is a medieval cooking ingredient to add piquancy in European wine-country kitchens, especially before lemons became widely available. It can also be used in salads, replacing vinegar with a more wine-friendly ingredient.