Don’t worry, you won’t have to get your feet covered in grape juice from squashing grapes with your feet — this familiar method (Lucy Style) is rarely used today! In our winemaking process, the grapes are crushed and destemmed at the same time by a crusher-destemmer, consisting of a perforated cylinder containing paddles revolving at 600 to 1,200 revolutions per minute. The grapes are crushed and fall through the cylinder perforations and the stems pass out of the end of the cylinder. For white wines, the juice is separated from the skins and seeds immediately after crushing.
Pressing the Grapes
First, we pump the free run juice into the barrel before putting the crushed grapes into the presses. In our process, we use state-of-the-art hydraulic presses, which force the pressed juice out through the perforations and into the barrel.
Separation of the juice is simplified because fermentation makes the skins less slippery, and you therefore gather much more free run juice from the fermented than from the unfermented musts (grape juices).
And, remember that we winemakers are meticulous — we taste our wine at all stages of the press process!
Racking the Wine
Racking is the process by which the suspended material (yeast cells, particles of skins, etc.) are removed from the wine after fermentation. Some wines deposit their suspended material very quickly, and the supernatant wine remains nearly brilliant. This is particularly true when 50-gallon wooden barrels, which have greater surface-to-volume ratios than larger containers, are utilized. The rough wooden interior encourages the wine to shed the suspended materials.
Bottling the Wine
This is the part you have been looking forward to all year — time to bottle your wine! The wine has completed its fermentation process and is now ready to take home. Gather your family and friends to help you bottle your wine. This is the time to eat great food and sample your wine.
You’ll be filling your bottles, corking them, heat-shrinking a colorful capsule on the top — and the final step — applying your own personalized labels, and taking your wine home to enjoy in the coming year.
Become a Winemaker
From crushing and pressing to racking and bottling, the winemaking process is the perfect opportunity to catch up with family members and friends or bond with your work colleagues in a team building retreat from the office.
If you are interested in visiting Make Wine With Us or have questions about our winemaking facility, please give us a call at 201-876-9463 today!