See How We Crush Wine Grapes (No Stinky Stomping Feet Involved!)

How Do Farmers Crush Wine Grapes?

When you think about crushing grapes, you probably picture someone stomping grapes in a barrel, like in this iconic I Love Lucy clip.

Real Grape Stomping

It would take us forever to crush the tons of grapes we harvest by hand — or foot. Plus, who wants to think about stinky feet touching their wine! Ewww.

These days, most vineyards use machines to pull grapes off of stems and crush them.

See How we Crush Grapes in the Poconos

In the video above, you saw a quick highlight grape crushing reel. Now, we’ll tell you about more about it.

Tons of Chambourcin

These are Chambourcin grapes. The French-American hybrid is this region’s premier grape. You’ll find it in one of our most popular wines, Split Rail Red. We also make our dry red Passion with them.

The Crusher Destemmer

We dump buckets of grapes into this crusher destemmer machine. It removes grapes from stems and crushes the fruit. This bad boy powers through tons of grapes.

Back when we first started growing grapes, we removed stems and crushed grapes by hand. It would take us all day just to get through the grapes we grew on our driveway fence.

If we had this crusher-destemmer machine it would have taken us about a half an hour.

What’s Must?

The mixture of pulp, juice, seeds, stems, and skins is called “must.” We collect it in a giant container.

Pumping Time

Once the must fills the container, we pump it into the winemaking building. We use a variable frequency pump with a 2.5″ pipe.

Filling Tanks

Finally, the crushed grapes reach a tank in the winemaking building. Frank makes sure everything gets where it needs to go without overflowing all over the floor. Trust us, that’s not fun to clean up!

Wine Time

This mixture is now ready to be fermented into wine.

If you like seeing the behind-the-scenes action at the winery, you might also enjoy some of our other blog posts. You can check out how we keep icky bugs off of vines without chemicals or see what it looked like when we blasted rock for our new winery.

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