See The Vineyard Grape Pressing Process

Grape Pressing in the Poconos

How Farmers Press Grapes at Mountain View Vineyard

Thanks for joining us on the latest step in our winemaking adventure! Over the last few weeks, you’ve seen the grape harvest, checked out how we crushed the grapes, then saw how (and why) we punched down¬†those crushed grapes.

Now, it’s time for grape pressing.

What is Grape Pressing?

Grape pressing is the process of squeezing every bit of juice out of the crushed grapes. This doesn’t happen until more than a week after we do the initial crushing.

Letting the Yeast Work

So, why do we wait to collect the juice? We want to give the yeast plenty of time to work.

Immediately after harvest, we crush the grapes. The juice, skin, stems, and seeds all stay in the same container. That mixture, called the must, begins to ferment right away.

We let naturally occurring yeast from the vineyard start the fermenting process. This helps provide terroir, the flavors and aromas unique to our land here in Pennsylvania. Then, we add more yeast to help complete the fermentation.

Ready to Press

We give the must seven to ten days to ferment. This ensures we extract the maximum amount of flavor and heart-healthy polyphenols.

Once that’s done, it’s time to separate the juice from the rest of the must.

These photos are of our Chambourcin grape pressing. Chambourcin is the premier grape of this region and it is wonderfully versatile. We use it in Passion, Timeless, and Split Rail Red.

The Grape Pressing Machine

Say hi to Ray and Frank, our grape pressing team! They pump the must into a big pressing machine. Then, they secure a heavy lid to keep the mixture inside. Have you ever seen what happens when you leave the lid off of a blender? We don’t want a wine explosion!

The Bladder

Once the lid is secured, Frank turns on an air compressor. That causes a bladder (that big black thing) to expand. It forces the must against a stainless steel cage. The juice flows out through a tube while the skins, stems, and seeds stay behind.

Let the Wine Flow

Wouldn’t you just love to go swimming in a big vat of freshly pressed wine? So far this season, we’ve pressed more than 1,000 gallons. It will still be a while before you can drink it, though. After we press the wine, we pump it into barrels and tanks for aging and long term storage.

This is the point in the winemaking process where we get a really good idea of how the vintage will turn out and we have wonderful news. This year’s vintage will be excellent. The grapes got a lot of love from a hot and sunny summer.

What Happens to The Rest of the Must?

Since we have a huge focus on sustainability, nothing goes to waste around here. We collect the skins, seeds, and stems for compost. It makes excellent fertilizer in the vineyards.

Clean Up Time

Does anyone want to volunteer to clean out the grape pressing machine? It’s a messy job, but it’s all part of the process of making great wine for you right here in the Poconos.

We love seeing all of the effort that went into planting, harvesting, and preparing come together on grape pressing day.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We can’t wait to fill some bottles and share the fruits of our labor with you next year!

Share this Post

Never Miss a Post. Subscribe to Our Blog.

[x_subscribe form=”1285″]
  • Behind-the-Scenes Access
  • Exclusive Photos and Videos
  • Wine Infused Food Recipes
  • Wine and Spirit Cocktail Recipes
  • Bottle and Cork Projects
  • Winemaker Interviews