FAQs

What are the health benefits associated with Concord grapes and grape juice?
Does 100% grape juice have added sugar?
Does fruit juice, like grape juice, make children fat?
Can you get the same benefits from Concord grape juice as you can from red wine?
Where can I learn more about the health benefits of Concord grapes?
How can I add more Concord grapes to my diet?
How is Concord grape juice made?
How is Concord grape jelly made?
Where are Concord grapes grown?
Why can't I find Concord grapes in the grocery store?
Can I grow Concord grapes in my back yard?
Where can I buy vines/seedlings?
How can you distinguish Concord grapes from other purple grapes?
How can I eat a Concord grapes?
Can Concord grapes be frozen?
Can retail purple grape juice be made into wine?

What are the health benefits associated with Concord grapes and grape juice?

For years scientists have studied the benefits associated with consuming Concord grapes and grape juice. Growing research suggests that Concord grape juice can contribute to heart heath.  And, while additional research is necessary, emerging science also suggests that Concord grapes may be linked to other areas of health. For more information visit: Health & Nutrition.

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Does 100% grape juice have added sugar?
No, there's no sugar added to 100% juices.  The grams of sugar you see on the label refer to the naturally occurring fruit sugars from grapes.


Does fruit juice, like grape juice, make children fat?
No. The majority of research does not show a relationship between overweight and 100 % juice consumption in children or teens. In fact, several studies that have investigated the relationship between 100% juice consumption and bodyweight in children and adolescents report additional benefits for 100% juice drinkers, including higher intake of certain nutrients (i.e. vitamin C) and lower intake of total fat, saturated fat and added sugar.

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Can you get the same benefits from Concord grape juice as you can from red wine?
While the alcohol in red wine has been shown to provide heart-health benefits, Concord grape juice can be an option for those that choose not to drink alcoholic beverages.   What we know is that Concord grape juice and red wine are both made from rich, dark, whole grapes that contain naturally occurring phytonutrients called polyphenols.  Growing science suggests that Concord grape juice may provide many of the same heart health benefits as red wine, which research indicates to be the result of these polyphenols.  . For more information visit: Health & Nutrition.  


Where can I learn more about the health benefits of Concord grapes?
To learn more about the latest research on Concord grape/grape products health benefits, visit the Grape Science Center at grapescience.com.

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How can I add more Concord grapes to my diet?
100% Grape Juice made specifically with Concord grapes:  Processed straight from the North American grown Concord grape, delicious deep-purple 100% grape juice is nutrient dense, contains no added sugar and can be found in bottles, cans, as concentrates, and in vending machines.  Delicious all by itself, 100% grape juice can also be a healthy ingredient in recipes.  See Recipes.  (add link to recipe page).

Concord grape jelly: Clear, firm and sparkling, Concord grape jelly is made from the juice of the grape and added sugar and is firm enough to hold its shape when turned out of its container.

Concord grape jam: Pureed grapes are cooked with sugar until thick, or “jammed” together. A grape jam patent was first issued to Paul Welch in 1917 for the pureeing of grapes.  He called the product “Grapelade.”  The initial quantity was purchased entirely by the U.S. Army and shipped to France for consumption by the troops during World War I.  The product was then demanded by the troops when they returned to civilian life.

Concord grape preserves: Grapes with their seeds removed are cooked with sugar or in heavy syrup until tender.  The fruit remains whole, and the syrup becomes thick and transparent.

The Food and Drug Administration established standards of identity for jams, jellies, preserves and fruit butters in 1940.  For more information about jams, jellies, and preserves, visit the IJPA Website.

 


How is Concord grape juice made?
Concord grapes are harvested in North America only one time per year (Aug – early Nov).  The grapes are brought into the processing facility, crushed and pressed into juice.  The juice can either be pasteurized and stored as single strength juice, or it may be concentrated (water removed) and stored.  Since Concord grapes are harvested during a short time period and are processed immediately, juice is stored under refrigeration so that it is available year round.  At the time of bottling, grape juice is filtered and pasteurized before it goes into the bottle.

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How is Concord grape jelly made?
As with Grape Juice, Grape Jelly starts with the Concord Grape.  Juice that is captured after harvesting and pressing Concord Grapes is used to make Concord Grape Jelly.  This juice is pumped into a cook room that contains large heating kettles.  Sweeteners, like sugar or high fructose corn syrup, are then added to the juice. The sweeteners are critical to get the right flavor and jelly consistency.  Once this is heated up to a certain temperature, fruit pectin may then be added to help ensure that the jelly is the right consistency.  Citric acid can also be added to help balance the flavor to get the best tasting Concord Jelly.  Once the batch has been approved for meeting all quality standards, the jelly is packed into bottles and cooled.  Making Concord Grape Jams and other fruit spreads follow a similar process to Concord Grape Jelly.


Where are Concord grapes grown?
Concord grapes are primarily grown in Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Washington grows the largest number of Concord grapes, followed by New York.  See links below for additional information:

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Why can't I find Concord grapes in the grocery store?
Concord grapes are grown mainly to make 100% grape juice, but are special grapes that can be found during the fall and mainly in the regions where the grapes are grown.  Look for Concord grapes in your local produce section in the fall when Concords are harvested.  The produce manager probably can get Concord grapes in the fall, if requested.


Can I grow Concord grapes in my back yard?
Yes.  Concord grapes can make an attractive arbor that then produces a delicious crop.  Concord vines do require annual pruning and will take 4 years before producing a big crop.  Visit sites like:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1305/  for simply eating, or as a decorative arbor.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/grapearbors/grape.html.

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Where can I buy vines/seedlings?
In the West, a good source of Concord cuttings are:

  • Fairacre Nursery, 155608 King Tull Road, Prosser, WA 99350 or phone (509) 786-2974
  •  Inland Desert Nursery, 32508 W. Kelly Road, Benton City, WA 99320, phone: (509) 588-6615, e-mail: sales@idnursery.com or web site: www.idnursery.com.


In the East, a good source of concord cuttings is: 


How can you distinguish Concord grapes from other purple grapes?
Concord grapes are purple and are just one variety of purple grapes.  Purple grapes include all grapes of that color, one of which is the Concord grape.

Concord grapes are hardy grapes native to North America.  They are typically larger in size and have larger seeds than European varieties.  Concord grapes also have a slip skin (skin that separates from the pulp), which is thicker than the fixed skin on European grapes.  The skin of grapes of the European varieties is attached to the meat.  This allows the latter varieties to be stored in cold rooms, shipped to fresh market and eaten as table grapes, etc.

The plant nutrients, or polyphenols, found in the skins and seeds of this dark purple, hardy grape give Concord grape juice its natural antioxidant power and health benefits.

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How can I eat a Concord grapes?
Concord grapes are a slip skin grape, meaning if you squeeze the grape, the pulp will slip out of the skin.  You can eat Concord grapes with or without the skin, or with or without the seeds.  All parts of the Concord grape are good for you. 


Can Concord grapes be frozen?
Anything can be frozen, but why freeze Concords? Thompson seedless, for example, is a great grape to freeze and take in the car for a cool treat. Frozen Concords would be messy, with seeds, and you don't really "chew" Concords - you suck them out of their skin to get the juice and flavor and swallow the grape whole (after you separate the seeds). You eat them somewhat like oysters.

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Can retail purple grape juice be made into wine?
Yes.  Retail white grape juice contains sulfites, which inhibits the fermentation process.  If there is any sulfite in retail purple grape juice, it is minimal, and not enough to inhibit fermentation.  Although any yeast will ferment grape juice, many yeast strains will make bad wine.  Find a winemaking yeast strain to make a good Concord wine.  Add sugar to the initial juice to reach 21 Brix (% sugar) before fermentation to achieve a normal alcohol level in the final wine. 


 

Growing research suggests that Concord grape juice can contribute to heart heath.