Just wondering, when I purchase a wine kit (i.e. Cellar Craft California Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon), how can I determine where the grapes SPECIALLY came from (ie Napa, Los Olivos, San Diego, etc.).
And, how can I determine when (i.e. what year) the grapes were harvested?
Thanks in advance
The only way you can tell where the grapes come from is if it says it on the kit. Higher priced kits usually cost more because they use more expensive, higher quality grapes, and they will often brag about where those grapes come from on the box. Low price kits will use the cheapest grapes, often from the California central valley, but sometime they’ll get surplus lots from Chile, Italy, or wherever. And they won’t put that on the box.
If the kit says California and nothing more specific than that, central valley is likely.
As far as when goes, my understanding is that most kits are made from juice that is bulk stored, from a number of pressings. So there is no specific vintage date.
If you were to make kits from a Seasonal or Limited edition series, you would be able to get a lot more specific.
For example, the Winex LE series kits are usually released the month following when they were pressed. Winex takes their gear to the specific vinyards, presses, flash pasturizes, then ships back to BC to make the kits.
So in those cases you would usually know vintage and region (or vinyard) fairly specifically.