October 27, 2003


The Press

Welcome to the Press. On Saturday, October 25th, we pressed 133 gallons of must and obtained over 90 gallons of wine!

1)     This time-honored process of pressing the wine started with cleaning all the containers and equipment that would come in contact with the must and wine.

2)     Next, we assembled and secured the press and formed a bucket brigade to transfer the must from the holding tanks to the press.

3)     When the partially emptied tank was light enough, we carried it to the press and emptied the must directly into the press.

4)     After the press was filled with must, water was forced into a big rubber bladder inside the press, which created pressure against the must and forced it against the filter. This caused wine to begin to ooze out between the oak slats of the press.

5)     As the wine collected in a tray at the base of the press, we scurried to collect the pressed wine in buckets.

6)     Finally, these buckets were poured back into the clean tanks. The wine will remain in the tanks for about six weeks while the spent yeast (the leas) settles to the bottom.

7)     The remains of the must (pomace), which are the seeds and the skins, were removed from the press and placed in compost bins.

8)     The process was repeated until all the must in the tanks had been processed and refilled with the resulting wine. The process is shown in the accompanying photographs.


Key dates to mark on your calendar:

Saturday, November 1st, beginning at 9:30 AM, we will press the remainder of the must.

Saturday, November 20th: We will bottle one 60 gallon barrel of the 2002 Wine Coop vintage. We want to be sure that the 2002 Coop members have some wine to help celebrate the coming holiday season. This is labor intensive.

Saturday, December 13th: Carmen & Gary will host a Wine Tasting Party for the 2003 batches of wine. The tasting data will help us determine what wines to combine in the oak barrels the next day. Donít miss this event!

Sunday, December 14th: We will move the wine from the tanks in Markís garage to the new oak barrels in Timís basement using plastic tubing.

As usual, we appreciate all the help we can get with all the processes of the wine production.


Setting up the press


Inspecting the water bladder

Inserting the filter screen

After the bucket brigade, we pour the remaining must from the tank


The press is filled

The metal lid in bolted onto the press

The process is about to begin


Water is used to inflate the bladder

The bladder presses against the wine

Filtered wine flows as the bladder inflates


The tanks are cleaned in preparation for the wine

Then the wine is poured into the tanks

The brilliantly colored wine will age in the tanks until barreled


Mark checks the clarity of the wine

Cindy tastes the fruits of our labor

All that remains are the seeds and the skins


The press must be cleaned

The rich grape pomace is recycled

Pomace goes back to the earth for next yearís crop


We celebrated the harvest and pressing while at a neighborís party

It seemed to change Garyís hair color