Spiced grape jelly

magnificent fall colors in Umbria

I love October in Umbria. Soon the winter sadness will descend on us, but right now colors are working full-time. Everywhere is golden and red. Everything seems to taste sweet, chestnuts, pears, grapes. There’s wonderful grapes everywhere.
We are the lucky owners of a 1/2 century old vine-arbor. We don’t make wine with the fruits, too much of a fuss. We just leave the bunches there to capture the last bits of sun. During one of those mellow afternoons, I go outside to harvest them and enjoy the technicolor.

a gorgeous sunset from our terrace

I pick the best bunches, put them in a large bucket, sit comfortably with (dog) Google at my feet and remove all the stems.
Then I pour the cleaned grapes in a cauldron and heat it until the grapes start bursting. I subsequently proceed to sieve the grapes through a mouli to remove skins and seeds.
Next, I transfer the filtered grape juice back into the cauldron where I bring it to slow boil and let it simmer until is reduced by half. Finally I can make the jelly.
For that, I use same amounts of sugar and reduced grape juice (weight), powdered pectin according to package instruction, the zest of 1/2 lemon, 2 cloves and 1 inch cinnamon stick per liter/quart grape juice.
The whole process takes several hours. A small mountain of tiny wine grapes only yields a few precious jars. Every year I think I am crazy. Every year I hope I have captured some of the last sun in the jar.

grape jelly made with green and red wine grapes


  1. The pictures of your vines and view are breath taking! I love your dog’s name 🙂
    This jelly sounds like a delish alternative to vino!

  2. I wish I can taste this my goodness this is an amazing jelly, I used to make grape jelly from my fathers grapevine every year, concord grapes. It was so fresh and the smell was heavenly I so miss those days! This brought back fabulous memories of him, thanks so much! Someday I hope to get some fresh grapes and make your recipe!

  3. Your blog photos made me miss living in Umbria (Perugia to be exact!) Gorgeous views, mouth watering photos and recipes! Lovely. Grazie!!

  4. Our red & greens are almost ready, too! I will follow your recipe this year, knowing that the results will be delicious – even if my grapes are not Umbrian. warmest Autumn regards, my friend – Amos

  5. Hi Letizia, I am in Liguria. The year before last I did what you did and laboriously made grape jelly from the vines on our orto, but last year I just rinse the grapes and sorted through for any that were going off and made juice using the steam juicer. I didn’t have to made anything then, so I froze the juice. This spring I made grape jelly, which was particularly well received by the grandchildren as they don’t like bits. I usually do blackberry and apple jelly as well and the steam juicer makes it so easy. I was looking at you blog for ideas. I made persimmon jam which was OK, but nothing special, so I look forward to trying your recipe. I also made kiwi jam last year when a neighbour gave us more than we could eat and it was lovely. I like you photographs! Romilly

    • Hi Romilly, I am glad you enjoy the juice steamer. It’s really great if one has to make large amounts of jellies from impossible fruit! Did you see my elderberry jelly? That’s also a though one! Persimmon is particularly difficult and bland when cooked alone. That’s why I mixt if with oranges and spices. That’s great to fill jam tarts like my crostata. Let me know how it goes. I will soon start with figs jam, they are almost ready on our trees.

  6. Hi Letizia,
    Your recipe looks great – how many kilos of grapes do you use for your recipe?
    Look forward to your feedback

    • Hi Tina, I generally pick 3-4 kg of grapes but, as explained in the recipe I only weight the juice to be able to add the other ingredients. It only yelds a few jars but it’s a fun process if you like to precess fruit as I do. Enjoy!

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