In this article we explain what happens to grapes when they are delivered to the winery

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE GRAPES ARE DELIVERED TO THE WINERY?

 

When grapes are harvested (either by machine or by hand) they are collected in small plastic bins which hold half a ton of grapes or in the back of semi-trailers which hold up to 25 tonnes.

 

The grapes are taken to the winery’s processing area and tipped onto a conveyor which transfers the grapes to the destemming machine. The destemmer ensures that an even amount of grapes continually fall into it, then removes the grapes from the stalks.

 

Inside a destemmer

Destemmer

Inside the machine is a small round drum on its side with grape sized holes all around it. Inside this drum are fingers which spin the opposite way to the drum. The grapes come into the middle of the drum and fall through the holes. The fingers knock the stalks off the grapes and the grapes fall into the crusher. The stalks come out the other side and are shovelled up and fed to the cows (the cows love vintage as much as we do!)

The crusher

Crusher destemmer

The crusher consists of two rollers close together. As the berries fall through they are split. If we don’t split them they don’t break during the pressing cycle and we don’t get the juice out. The crushed berries (called ‘must’) are pumped –

  • to the press for white wine and rose production, or
  • straight into a tank for fermentation on skins for red wine production.

We will talk more about presses next week and the variation in making white wine and red wine in the coming weeks.

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