Through over 30 years of experience, we know that a truly palatable wine can only come from the finest grapes and juices. Our seasoned vintners carefully select and import fresh frozen grapes and fresh juices directly from distinguished vineyards across the globe, most notably Chile’s Maipo Valley and Argentina’s Tupungato Valley, two of the world’s best grape growing regions.
Harvested in the cool air of the early morning, our fully mature, fresh whole grapes are immediately refrigerated or gently crushed and frozen, then transferred to temperature-regulated containers where they remain until arrival at Portofino. Maintaining a consistently cool temperature after harvest ensures that every succulent nuance of our grapes is preserved.
Fresh Grapes vs. Frozen Grapes: What is the difference?
Temperature control is a challenge when shipping fresh grapes over long distances. Often travelling in unsuitably small containers, grapes experience fluctuating temperatures - a risk to the grapes and the resulting wine. When it comes to wine grapes, the smallest temperature fluctuation sacrifices flavour and, more importantly, aromatics.
For this reason, frozen grapes are actually better than fresh grapes for importing. While freezing a fish or vegetable will alter its texture and moisture content, it works to the grape's advantage. Years of experience have proven that there are no quality down sides to freezing and a host of advantages, in comparison to fresh grapes. Unlike wine kits, fresh and frozen grapes are unadjusted - from the vineyard with all the imprints of the vineyard and vintage - characteristically varying in sugar, acid, etc. from bunch to bunch, vine to vine. The freezing process causes a gentle intercellular breakdown of red grape cells, releasing more juice and color, without bitterness, and the freezing temperatures significantly reduce the natural bugs that inhabit the grapes. The grapes and juice are more sterile, more suitable for fermentation – creating delectable wines.
The most significant advantage of frozen grapes and juice is timing. Timing allows you to make blends and modify your winemaking protocols to maximize the grapes' potential, and end-result.
Our handpicked grapes are available in 22kg pails and 240kg drums. Our fresh juices are available in 20 liter pails and 228 liter drums.
Pricing is dependent upon many factors including harvest yields, availability, demand, and time of year. We always strive to provide you with the best pricing possible and because of these many factors we ask that you contact us directly so we can give you the best up-to-date price possible.
Merlot is by far the most widely planted grape of the entire Bordeaux region. While its flavour profile is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot tends to be less distinctive and slightly more herbaceous overall in both aroma and taste.
Often known as the king of reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is not only one of the most popular red wine varieties worldwide, but it is the most dependable wine for aging. With age, its distinctive black currant aroma can develop nuances of cedar, violets, leather or a cigar box, and its typically tannic edge softens and smoothes considerably.
The only grape used to make the famous Rhone wines, over half of the world’s total Syrah acreage is in France. Syrah forms intense wines with a deep violet, nearly black colour and richness, with aromas that tend to be more spicy than fruity. It is also a thriving grape in Australia, South Africa and California.
For over 100 years, the fascinating Carmenere became known as the “forgotten grape” after a devastating vine plague in 1867 destroyed most of Europe’s vineyards. Because of its susceptibility to disease in Bordeaux’s cool, wet climate, the Carmenere grape was virtually left out of the mix of newly planted vines. Imported to Chile, the grape flourished, but its identity was again lost as it was mixed with Merlot. Now separated into its pure varietal, many experts believe that Carmenere, with its strong, earthy and spicy flavours, is the future of Chile’s wine industry.
One of the traditional Bordeaux varietals, Malbec has characteristics that fall somewhere between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Most prominent in Argentina, the Malbec grape is typically left on the vine to “hang” beyond ripeness to take full advantage of its natural plum and anise notes.
The most common grape of Northern Italy’s Tuscany region, Sangiovese is often used in Chianti. Its aroma is generally not as assertive and easily identifiable as other reds, a Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, but Sangiovese can have a strawberry, blueberry, faintly floral, violet or plumy character.