LUDLOW, Mass. — A Big Y  store here is catering to home winemakers by sourcing Chilean wine grape juice.
The juice will be available within the next few weeks in cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, pinot noir, chardonnay and other varietals.
The juice will be sold for a limited time in 6-gallon drums that retail for about $56 to $60 each, depending on market conditions. The unpasteurized juice will be stored in a rented refrigerated trailer, parked in the Ludlow unit’s receiving dock.
Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y has partnered with distributor M&M Wine Grape Co., Hartford, Conn. M&M is sourcing the juice from Chile’s Curico and Santa Cruz wine-growing areas, according to the M&M website.
The Ludlow store and several other Big Y units have sold California grape juice in the fall for the last 10 years.
This is the second year the Ludlow unit has sold Chilean juices. Big Y tapped the Chilean market to help customers diversify their wine  portfolios, as Chilean wine juice is available during the U.S. spring season. Wine juice from California is available only in the fall.
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“This allows our customers to get a second [winemaking] season,” said Chris Silveira, a produce specialist at the Ludlow store.
Only the Ludlow store is carrying the Chilean juices, according to Silveira. That’s because the surrounding area has large Portuguese and Italian populations that are heavily into winemaking.
Meanwhile, the Ludlow unit and several other Big Y stores sell a variety of winemaking equipment, ranging from demijohns, corkers and chemicals to complete winemaking kits.
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