Pressing Wine Grapes

Pressing grapes is not the same as crushing grapes.  Pressing grapes extracts the juice from the grape.  Pressing grapes has an influence on the color of the wine you make.  Therefore, when making red or white wine, wine makers will pick specific times throughout the wine making process to press.

When processing red grapes, pressing usually takes place during or after the alcoholic fermentation.  This allows the skin to come into contact with the must and impact the color of the wine.  White grapes are usually pressed immediately after processing in a grape crusher to avoid skin contact during fermentation and control the color of the resulting wine.

When pressing red grapes a vertical basket press is commonly utilized. The vertical basket allows the free run juice to drain into a container before the press wine is collected.  Both juices (free-run and press) are kept separate through the fermentation and racking process and may be blended later in the wine making process.  If you are operating a vertical press size 50 or larger its worth considering hydraulic heads to make the work more efficient.

Pneumatic (bladder) pressing is commonly used for white grapes.  This type of press applies gentle, steady pressure to extract the juices.  This results in less juice overall but helps to keep the free-run juices from mixing with the skins. Whole cluster pressing is also common with white grape wine production.  This minimizes acids and tannins that are naturally present in the skins, seeds and stems.

About americanwinegrape

American Wine Grape Distributors Inc. AKA A. Silvestro Wine Grape, has been in business for over 5 decades. We are wine enthusiasts just like you and want to share in that enjoyment. This is why we are developing a new and exciting platform for growers, restaurants, sommeliers and home winemakers. Our goal is to bring the wine community together and is the driving force behind our new blog.