Pressing Concord

The Concord has been fermenting all week, and today it is being pressed.  This step separates the skins & seeds from the wine.  Clyde spent the morning pumping everything from the tank on the right into the yellow press on the left.  The liquid is draining out of the press into the pan below.  Once the pan is close to full, Clyde will drain the liquid into a tank in our cellar.

Here’s a closer look at the press itself:

Although the fermentation has been going on for about a week now, this concord isn’t completely finished fermenting yet.  Clyde will let it finish fermenting in our cellar for another 5 days or so.  Or until all the sugar that was in the juice is eaten up by the yeast.  Then he will filter the finished wine.  But that is another post for another day.

In the meantime, anyone wanna come over and do laundry for me?

Pretty please?  I’m not above bribery.  🙂

Pedaling and Pumping

Yesterday I went into Rolla to pedal our wines in the VIP tent for the Tour of Missouri bicycle race (lol – pun intended).  I didn’t quite know what to expect and ended up really enjoying myself!  Rolla hosted the finish line for the fourth leg of the race plus an expo area where people could check out vendors & sponsors.  It turned out to be one of these great small-town festive atmospheres that I’m a total sucker for.

Here’s Danene Beedle, the Missouri Wine Girl up on the announcer’s stage talking about Missouri Wines.  She gave a bottle of our Courtois and our Meramec to the race announcers:

Kinda looks like their singing a duet, doesn’t it? And one of my favorite photos was of Phyllis from Meramec Vineyards after she gave the winner, Michael Barry, a Tour of Missouri commemorative bottle of wine:

The head floating above the kiss is the third place winner of this leg….he looks so jealous!  LOL…can’t wait to send Phyllis this shot!  I’m going to post up more photos & a video on my personal blog if you want to check out more.

I got home last night in time to catch Clyde doing a ‘pump over’ on the Concord that we processed on Wednesday.  Twice a day he pumps the juice from the bottom of the tank up to the top of the tank to mix in all the skins with the juice.  This helps extract color and keeps any bacteria from growing on the top cap of the wine.  It was dark out, so I’m sorry for the lack of light….here’s clyde moving the hose around:

And what it looks like inside the tank:

Well, if you have a chance to see the Tour of MO, I highly recommend it.  And if you want to come by the winery this weekend, I will have as many tables set up under a roof as I can fit…looks like it might be pretty wet for the next few days.  See you soon!

We Were Concord Last Night

Clyde pulled in with about 2 tons of Concord grapes last night around 6:30pm.  Here they are…you can see the tractor pulling the first of four bins off our trailer:

They smell sooooo good!  Fast forward to the last bin of grapes to be processed, when I thought to grab my camera again…I climbed up a ladder to see the view from above:

That’s the hopper the grapes are dumped into…then they travel through the destemmer/crusher, and eventually are pumped into a tank.  Since this will be a red wine, we don’t press out the juice right away.  We keep the skins in contact with the fermenting wine so we can extract lots of color.  Here’s the view into the tank:

And then it’s all over except for the cleaning.  We just rinsed everything down last night since it was getting a little late and we didn’t have much light.  Here’s a shot inside the destemmer machine:

That cone in the middle with all the holes in it is the part the does the destemming.  There is a paddle inside the cone that grabs the stems and shoots them out of the machine while the grapes fall through the holes in the cone to the bottom of the machine.  Here’s a closer pic of that cone…you can see the red bits inside the cone, and those are part of the paddle (I’m sure ‘cone’ and ‘paddle’ are absolutely not the correct terminology for these parts!):

Once everything was pulled apart and rinsed off, we went to bed!  Today Clyde will have to sanitize it all.  I’m off to Rolla today, where I’ll be pouring our wine in the hospitality tent for the Tour of Missouri bicycle race.  Maybe I’ll catch a few photos there too.  Cheers!