obsessed with wine podcast with Wesley Cable Sr On the New York City Podcast Network

The Daily Taste: Tuesday May 24th 2022 – White Wine Grape Pressing

Once white wine grapes have reached the winery they are usually pressed right away to extract the juice to prepare for fermentation The juice is then pumped into the fermentation vessel of choice usually a stainless-steel tank This is a pretty awesome experience The type of press we used for white wines was a pneumatic bladder press These presses get their name from the balloon like apparatus inside the press that inflates to put pressure on the grapes and help extract the juice The bladder press is a long steel tube looking machine with two doors on top that slide open and closed This press has a touch screen panel that allows the winemaking team to control how long they want to press the grapes and with how much force The winemaker decides on the sweet spot of enough pressure to extract most of the juice but not too much pressure that the stems and seeds get squeezed and release unwanted bitterness to the juice The first step of pressing is loading the press with grapes from the MACRO bins delivered that morning from the vineyard For especially thick-skinned grapes the winemaking team may add dried rice hulls to the macro bins prior to dumping them into the press to help with the extraction Loading the press takes a skilled forklift driver to pick up the bins full of grapes and dump them into the press It is important that the grapes get into the press and not all over the ground as grapes on the ground are rarely put into the press to avoid contamination Once the press is full the winemaker selects a press cycle and inputs it into the touch screen telling the press how long to press the grapes and how much pressure to use The press starts by rotating a few times and allowing the pre-pressed juice called the free run to pour into a sump where it is transferred to the fermentation vessel using a special pump Once the free run has been drained the press inflates the inner bladder delicately pressing the fruit against the inner walls of the tank extracting the juice These pressings are meant to be gentle so our press cycles were three hours each During pressing the extracted juice flows into a sump where it is pumped into a tank for fermentation Free run and pressed juice are not always fermented together as the winemaker may want to do something special with the free run like make a reserve wine After the press cycle is done the winemaker looks inside the press to see if he got all of the juice he wanted or if he wants to run another cycle If there are a lot of uncrushed berries the winemaker will press again so no juice is wasted Once it has been determined that pressing has completed the press rotates allowing the stems seeds and grape skins to fall into Macro Bins where they are loaded onto a truck and used for composting The final step of the process is cleaning the press This is the worst part of pressing because someone must climb into the press with a hose and spray the inside to make sure that all seeds skins and stems are removed This process can easily take an hour to do and its hard work Periodically the press must be sanitized which is another arduous task but is crucial for keeping unwanted bacteria from getting into the wine I will post some pictures of the press and some videos of the press in action on the show website so you can see what it looks like It apos s really a cool thing to see not to mention the amazing smells that come from the pressed juice Tomorrow I will talk about red wine pressing as it is done totally different and requires a lot more steps Thank you very much I see you tomorrow for another Daily Taste