How Verjus is Made
Napa Valley Verjus is made from wine grapes removed from the vine in midsummer, at a point in the growing cycle called veraison. At veraison, red wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot 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, our 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 enroute 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 Cabernet and Merlot vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena from such growers as Laurie Wood, David Abreu and Chuck Wagner. We have also used Chardonnay from 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!