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Requested Recipe:


"Do you have a recipe for wine from Black Spanish grapes?" Jason Wright, Sheridan, Texas


Friar Garcia de San Francisco y Zuniga arrived in Vera Cruz in 1650 "with cuttings of a vine from his home in Spain." This vine is presumed to be "Jacquez," the "Black Spanish Grape." Friar Zuniga reportedly brought the vine to the El Paso area in 1659, but he would have brought the grape as seed if outside the season for taking cuttings. I have been unable to find a date for the planting of the vines at Friar Zuniga's Mission Senora de Guadalupe in Ciudad Juarez, but he finished construction of the first small building on December 6th, 1659 so it is probable he arrived there during the late summer or fall with seeds, not cuttings. However, since Friar Zuniga was in Mexico between 1650 and 1659, he would have planted his cuttings and they would have had at least 8 years to grow. During that period, it is possible the vines were pollinated by native grapes of Mexico and their seedlings inherited their PD-resistence from this chance pollination.

A number of Texas wineries have kept the Black Spanish grape alive and commercially viable. Usually made into port, the grape is capable of producing good wine with careful guidnace. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards recently won two silver medals with their wine, Haak Vineyards and Winery won a Bronze with theirs, and Pleasant Hill Winery won a bronze with a black spanish blended port

The following recipe is for a gallon of wine. One may scale it up.

Black Spanish Grape Wine

Pick grapes when fully ripe, discarding any spoiled grapes from clusters. Crush and destem the grapes. Add pectic enzyme and finely crushed Campden tablet to the crush and stir. Cover and set aside overnight. Adjust acid if required and stir in yeast nutrient, Oak-Mor and activated yeast starter. Recover primary and wait for vigorous fermentation. Punch down cap twice daily until vigor subsides. When specific gravity drops to 1.000, strain solids into press and extract remaining juice. Transfer wine to secondary and attach airlock. After 1 month, rack to sanitized carboy, top up, and refit airlock. Conduct two more rackings, 1 month apart, topping up each time. Monitor for MLF if desired, otherwise add Campden after every other racking. Wine should clear on its own. If desired, stabilize and sweeten, wait 14-21 days, then bottle. Cellar 6 months before tasting. [Author's own recipe]

My thanks to Jason Wright, Sheridan, Texas, for his request.

This page was updated on May 11th, 2002

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