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Verjus (pronounced vair-ZHOO) is the tart, fresh juice of unripe wine grapes. It is a culinary ingredient indigenous to the world's wine producing regions that is used in sauce making, for poaching fish and meat, and to dress lettuces, vegetables and fruit. Verjus or "verjuice" as it is sometimes called, literally means green juice in the sense that it's made from fruit that has yet to fully ripen - it's green. It is used to add acidity to foods, an important component in food and in cooking.
Napa Valley Verjus is made from white wine varieties such as Chardonnay, and the wine grapes removed from the vine in midsummer, at a point in the growing cycle called veraison. At veraison, change in color from green to black and the berries begin to soften enough to press.
As the grapes arrive at the winery, they are loaded into large pneumatic presses where the juice is gently extracted then transferred to refrigerated stainless steel tanks. The juice is allowed to settle for a couple of days, then it is lightly filtered and packaged.
The fresh verjus is at its best right after pressing, and can be packaged immediately. The challenging part of the production is keeping the verjus from fermenting and becoming wine; crushed grapes will spontaneously ferment due to airborne yeasts.
Commercially, grape juice is usually stabilized by either adding powerful preservatives like benzoic acid, or by traditional canning methods - the juice must be heated to a temperature high enough to kill yeast cells and bacteria. Both of these methods adversely affect the taste of the finished product.
At Fusion Foods, the goal is to produce the most natural, fresh tural, fresh tasting juice by protecting its delicate aromas and flavors. To achieve that we use a technology called aseptic packaging. With this process, no strong preservatives are necessary and the fresh verjus is exposed to high temperature for only 4 seconds. The packaging material is sterilized en-route to filling, which occurs in a small chamber of sterile air. Industry experts expect orange juice manufacturers to start using this revolutionary packaging technology in the near future to improve flavor.
Napa Valley Verjus is made from some of the best Chardonnay vineyards such as, Joseph Phelps's vineyards in Carneros, and from Navarro Vineyards in Philo. Napa Valley Verjus has been processed at Caymus Vineyards, Monticello Cellars, Robert Pecota Winery, Charles Krug Winery, and Napa Wine Company and we are very thankful for their help, and for believing in and working with us on a product they had never heard of!
* Use verjus instead of lemon or vinegar in dressings or sauces as an acid substitute.
* Use to deglaze pans or in a reduction
* Make a refreshing sorbet
* Use in mixed drinks or as a non-alcoholic wine substitute
This product contains Sulfur Dioxide