On Monday last week we crushed and pressed about 4 tons of Chambourcin grapes to make into a blush-style wine. The grape grower brought lots of help with him, so we were able to get a few pictures of the processing that day. We’ll be bringing in more Chambourcin on Monday, so here’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow!
First, Clyde sets the bin of grapes up onto the bin dumping machine:
I’m showing him how far the front of the bin is to the edge of the dumping machine.
Then we dump the grapes into the destemmer/crusher. In the next picture, Julie is making sure the grapes go into the destemmer instead of on the ground where Maggie, Pepe, and Jude would eat them:
Here’s a peek inside the hopper at the top of the destemmer:
The grapes drop down into the destemmer portion of the machine. Here’s a picture of the inside of the destemmer after we finished processing:
The grapes are fed down through the middle of the cylinder with all the round holes on it. There are paddles inside that cylinder which basically scrape the grapes off of their stems. The grapes fall through the holes and are then rolled through the crusher part of this machine. Finally, they are pumped into the press while the stems migrate through the cylinder and then are spit out the side of the machine.
Here is a view of the press as it’s being loaded:
Even though the press hasn’t been turned on yet, you can see that a lot of juice is already flowing. The juice that’s created just from the crusher is called ‘free run’ juice and is the best quality juice. Once the press is turned on and pressure is exerted on the juice, the quality lowers somewhat, and this part of the juice is called the ‘press fraction’. The press fraction will often have more bitterness to the juice, so Clyde will take care to filter and treat the press fraction a little differently than the free run juice.
And if you’re wondering why we don’t say ‘free run fraction’, well, just try saying ‘free run fraction’ out loud fives times fast! 🙂
I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful weekend! Cheers!