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Grape History

Fresh Grapes

During the fall, a wooden crate from California is cracked open and bunches of purple grapes are flung into a large industrial wine-pressing machine. As more crates are heaved down a long chute, the grinding hum of the press continues until all of the grapes are de-stemmed and pummeled into a stream of flowing juice.

This grinding noise is sweet music to Silvano Musca, the Second Generation of Musca Wine Pressing & Supplies on Somerset Street West. Mr. Musca is affectionately known as the “King of Grapes”, introducing several brands of California Wine Grapes and Fresh Juices for more than 60 years.

The fall ritual of making homemade wine, is flourishing as more people appreciate the grapes and fresh juices.

The Musca’s were the very first to import fresh California Wine Grapes into Ottawa. They were always very proud to have the best possible quality out of California. Their grapes are known to be a “House Pack”, and not a field pack. House packed grapes are more carefully selected by workers and properly weighed and rarely contain any leaves and other debris.

When the Musca’s first started, the shipments of 1000 crates were snapped up by eager Italian men who waited anxiously alongside the old rail-yards near Scott Street to load them into their trucks.

Many of these loyal customers cultivated back then have stayed on as loyal clients, often bringing along their sons and daughters to share the winemaking experience.

Today, Silvano Musca and his wife, Carmen, import over 30,000 crates of grapes under the PIA Label from Lamanuzzi and Pantaleo winery. They have also expanded the business to include a large selection of Award Winning Fresh Juices, Award Winning Fresh Concentrates, not to mention a large selection of winemaking supplies, along with a huge wine boutique. For those clients that just don’t have the time or patience the Musca’s have expanded their operation to include the making of wine on their premises, with over 90 different varietals to choose from.

The Musca’s are generally acknowledged as wine pioneers in the city, allowing the tradition to continue sine 1954! The grape season is a favourite time of the year. It is a time of gathering together in the basement of their homes in order to share the tradition with family and friends. These traditions were given to them by their ancestors in order to share them with their very own family and friends.

Thank you for allowing Musca Wine Pressing and Supplies to enter your home.
On premise grape crushing available!

Fresh grapes available under the “Pia” Label are seasonal only! September and October only!

Please note, just because the grape varietal is listed on the website does not necessarily mean that it is in stock. Always contact the store at (613) 235-5050 before you decide to pick up your fresh wine grapes!