Posted by: Leslie White | October 21, 2012

Wine making

Yesterday I got to participate in the coolest step of the wine making process: grape pressing! Paul Brown (a professor I work with at Stanford) is a wine maker and he invited me to help press grapes to make Pinot Noir. The grapes came from Rosella Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands (a premier wine making district in California).

This is where we did the pressing.

Sarah cleans out the tank with an iodine/water solution.

Looking through the door at the bottom of the tank. After being washed with iodine, the tank is rinsed with citric acid. This helps promote fermentation.

Decanting the wine from the stainless steel fermentation tanks into buckets. The buckets are emptied into the tank from the earlier pictures and yeast is added.

After the stainless steel fermentation tanks are emptied, they are a ton of grapes left in the bottom – many still completely intact and in clusters. The berries are scooped out and put into a slotted wooden barrel. The clusters must be separated/crushed by hand (for some reason the press can’t crush them if they’re still in cluster form). This was the messiest but most fun part of the process.

The berries are then pressed within the barrel, and all the juice comes out at the bottom. The color was beautiful! We kept tasting the wine at this point because the flavor changes dramatically as the berries get pressed. Everyone seemed to think that this was going to be a particularly tasty batch.

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