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Navarro Vineyards' Non-Alcoholic Wine-Grape Juice

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Navarro Vineyards' non-alcoholic wine-grape juices

Concord grapes are normally used to make grape juice, but are rarely turned into wine due to their strong, musky flavor. But Navarro Vineyards of Mendocino County, California, is putting a new spin on grapevines, turning the same fine Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir grapes it uses for its wines into non-alcoholic wine-grape juice.

After the grapes are harvested and pressed, the liquid isn’t allowed to ferment, but is cold-stabilized like a dessert wine (to remove tartaric acid crystals). The resulting juices are marvelously sweet, smooth beverages that can be enjoyed by both teetotalers and toddlers, with or without food.

Out of the two offered varietals, the Gewürztraminer seems dryer with fruitier undertones, while the Pinot Noir seems more complex. Both are much sweeter and more luxurious than regular grape juices, and are best when served cold, as there is a rather syrupy finish when sipped at room temperature.

Navarro has found that its grape juices have been particularly popular with children ever since it started selling the non-alcoholic beverages in its tasting room. But adults can also enjoy the fact that the health benefits associated with wine are still present without the alcohol. In fact, non-alcoholic grape juice can be healthier, as it doesn’t produce so-called “free radicals,” or unstable oxygen molecules that can damage blood vessel tissues. A study done in 2000 at the University of California, Davis, showed that antioxidants associated with grapes lasted longer in non-alcoholic wine. Red grapes (like Pinot Noir) are still better, though, as they contain antioxidant flavonoids, which aren’t present in white grapes like Gewürztraminer.

Since the juice employs wine grapes grown on expensive land and carefully tended, the 750-mL size bottles list at a steep $11. But for those who get wine headaches, dislike the taste of wine or don’t drink alcohol, Navarro Vineyards wine-grape juices can provide a more upscale, better-tasting choice than regular old Welch’s.

To purchase or for more information, visit

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(Updated: 8/19/09 SV)

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