Grape Jelly!

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It is grape season and Roger’s Red grape (Vitis ‘Roger’s Red) is loaded up again this year. According to San Marcos Growers, this grape, selected by Roger Raiche, carries the genes of our  wild grape (Vitis californica) and the commercial grape (Vitis vinifera). Whatever it is, it is a great garden, deciduous vine that turns bright red in fall after producing bunches of delicious dark purple grapes in late summer.

Bunch of Roger’s Red grapes (Vitis ‘Roger’s Red’). 
Last year I made iced tea, lemonade, grape juice drink, flavored with wild sage (August 2010). It was amazing!
This year it is going to be grape jelly. Just the beginning! But picking is the easy part.
Lots of grapes. Now to clean them.
All cleaned. Bought new canning jars, collected supplies and equipment and ready to go.
Although I checked a recipe on the web, I went with the recipe in the box of Sure-Jell pectin
I had 2.5 pounds of grape. A foley mill works well to juice the grapes, and separate out the seeds and skin. Takes time!
And muscle. 
I love the color of the grapes. 
And especially of the juice. I came up with 2.5 cups of juice.
Cooking the grape juice, pectin (1/2 box) and sugar.
It jelled perfectly and tastes delicious.
Made four 8 ounce jars. I had exactly half the amount of grape juice called for in the recipe so I only got 4 jars. Chanukah presents for my husband and three kids. But my husband opened his already… he is going to be sad in December!

The jelly worked out fine but it is a lot of work. The grape juice, without sugar, is more delicious to me than the jelly, so next year I am going to save myself the trouble and make ice cubes of grape juice. Add some home-made lemonade, and wild sage, and with or without a little “attitude adjuster” it is a winning combination.

Last Modified on March 24, 2015
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6 thoughts on “Grape Jelly!

  1. Beautiful color! And, I agree with your note about just the fruit without the sugar. Still, you have a very lucky family, Barbara.

  2. Love this grapevine for its aesthetic value in the native garden as well as its ethnobotanical properties! Its funny, prior to reading your blog this morning, I had just finished picking up Judith Lowry's book The Real California Cuisine…coincidence?

  3. Every time I see one of these plants in the nursery, I'm so tempted to plant one. I just have to figure out where to put it so the deer can't reach it! I must admit though, I didn't realize that the fruit produced from it would be of any culinary value. The grape jelly looks great, and now I might just have to find a way to work one into the garden here!

  4. @CVF – yes, do it! This is a great plant, though it takes some work keeping it under control, especially if you have it in a tight spot. I cut vines out of the nearby trees and then cut the whole thing back to the main stem when it goes dormant. So far, not a lot of work.<br /><br />@Rob – I haven&#39;t read that, though both of her books, Gardening with a Wild Heart and the Landscaping Ideas of

  5. Hi,<br /><br />This is a year after you posted about jelly from the grapes. We have the same grape variety. We harvest almost 30 lbs. of grapes, which is turned into jelly. I found about using a juice extractor (for making carrot juice, etc.) for extracting the juice from these grapes. It doesn&#39;t get all the juice, but is so much easier. Next year, I plan on using a handheld juice

  6. Hi countrynmore. Has it been a whole year since I posted this?? Yes, the Roger&#39;s Red grapes are hanging on the vine yet again, though I didn&#39;t get as many this year. I cut it back more and watered it less this year. Still enough to enjoy eating them straight off the vine. <br /><br />The juice extractor sounds great. Maybe next year. Let me know how the combo electric and hand extractor

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