Pressing Business

Yesterday morning we pressed out a small batch of Chambourcin from Red Moose Vineyard. They brought over their basket press for us to use since it was such a small amount of grapes and our equipment is built for much larger batches. This was actually the first time Clyde or I had used a manual press like this, so we had fun and learned a few new tricks! In the photo above, Red Moose owner Mark Leitner assembles the ratchet at the top of the press while his wife Shirley and Clyde look on.

Mark and Clyde switched off turning the ratchet to press out every last drop of wine.

The wine drained into a bucket, which we would regularly dump into a tank sitting next to the press. This wasn’t too hard, but if we ever use this setup again, we’d probably try to place the press above the tank to eliminate this bucketing stage!

Finally, once all the wine was pressed out, the sides of the basket were removed so that we could clean out the skins and seeds from the press. They were so packed in that basket, it almost looked like cake when they removed the sides. Wine cake – yum!

The skins and seeds were taken out to a compost pile in the back vineyard afterwards and we’ll use it for mulch someday. We ended up with about 65 gallons of wine from this pressing; Clyde plans to make a semi-sweet red wine out of this batch.

I hope you enjoyed this peek at our morning work yesterday. Cheers!