Sunday, December 6, 2009


The other day I received an email from my friend Deb announcing that she has redesigned the web site of Kiger Family Vineyards - she and her husband are the owners.

Having worked with her as a fellow marketeer, I felt I had a duty to click to her site to review it and provide helpful feedback, which I did, but found myself drawn into the story on the web site about their "verjus".

What is verjus you ask? From the KFV site:

Verjus: (vair-zhoo)

1. the tart, fresh, non-fermented juice of unripe
wine grapes. From the French, vert (green) + jus (juice); sometimes called verjuice

2. A true culinary delight

I asked Deb what it tastes like and I pasted below her email response:

"The verjus tastes a little like very tart lemonade. There's some sweetness in it (at the time of green thinning, the fruit is at about 16 degrees brix, compared to the 26+ brix levels found in grapes ripe enough to pick for wine.

From wikipedia: In the food/beverage industry, the term Brix is used to describe the approximate amount of sugars in fruit juices, wine, soft drinks.  For fruit juices, one degree Brix is about 1-2% sugar by weight.  This usually correlates well with perceived sweetness.  As the Brix reading increases so does the perceived sweetness of fruit, fruit juices, etc.)

So you don't drink it straight up. It is very acidic like lemon juice and vinegar, but has enough sweetness to lend a little to the food or drink. Sometimes I pour a little in sparkling water for a refreshing drink. Again, it has no alcohol because you prevent fermentation from taking place."

All she had to do was mention "like a tart lemonade" and you know I became even more intrigued. It's so interesting to learn about things that go on at the vineyard that aren't directly related to wine. I can't wait to make a trip to Sonoma Valley to pick up the bottle she has so kindly set aside for me!

Check out the verjus story on their site in which Deb describes what "green-thinning" is, and to see other fun pictures about the process. Or visit to learn about which wineries use their grapes and or to find out other fun activities happening at their vineyard.

Deb and her friend Tim unloading the grape clusters that will make the verjus. Photo credits: Debi Wallstrom

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