Here’s Why You Should Go Gourmet November 5, 2015 – Posted in: Uncategorized

A mate of ours is a food scientist who used to work for one of the world’s biggest producers of commercial grape juice. You know, the stuff labelled “100%”. Listening to him explain his former company’s production process enlightened us to just how misleading a “100% pure fruit juice” designation on a product can be.

Major grape juice producers typically chase three things in the traditional mass market retail system: 1) long shelf life, 2) just-in-time production capability, and 3) lower production costs overall. Unfortunately in the pursuit of these ends, there are precious things that tend to get lost in the fire. Let me try and unpack that a little without getting too technical

Mass-produced grape juice is often made with a hodgepodge of varietal produce (including fruit that wasn’t worthy of your table), sourced from just about wherever it’s cheapest. The grapes are then reduced to pulp— essentially unsweetened concentrate, and stored using a number of preservatives and stabilisers. The concentrate can sit for ages in wait for the next step of the process.

Whenever the producer is ready, artificially deflavoured fruit juice (usually something much cheaper than grape juice, like apple or pear) and/or water is introduced to the pulp to produce “100% grape juice”— which is, in fact, reconstituted product containing the barest minimum percentage of grape allowed by law to pass as a “grape juice”.

It’s through adhering to these practices that the trinity of commercial objectives listed earlier is met. They end up with a highly profitable, preservative-rich product, which can be produced in and out of season to meet demand, and last forever on the shelf.

Latanda on the other hand, is not made that way. Our range of grape juice is made using varietal produce (Latanda made from Hanepoot grapes, and Latanda 205 made from Colombard grapes) whose origin can be traced back to the lush vineyards of Stellenbosch. The grapes are lovingly pressed and bottled just days after the season’s best fruit is picked– all this under the watchful eye of some of the region’s most experienced vintners.

All you’ll find in bottles of Latanda, besides 100% pure grape juice, is trace amounts of sulphites to prevent fermentation, as well as carbon dioxide (sparkle) to enhance the refreshing character of the grapes. And so with all that said, we hope that you now better understand why gourmet grape juice is the only way to go.