Clean your feet and get your grape stompers ready! It’s time to make some wine and, just like there are millions of best-ever grandma recipes out there; there are plenty of ways to smash those grapes!
First, of course, you need to work the land, tend the vines and harvest the grapes. Back in the day, that consisted of doing everything by hand or by horse. Today it’s commonly handled with horsepower of a different kind. There are benefits to both. Machines are cheaper and faster and can work round-the- clock; while hand harvesting is a gentler way to handle grapes and often results in a higher quality wine.
Once your grapes are picked, you need to release the juices for fermenting. You can step on them in bunches (Nope, I wasn’t kidding.) or use modern crushers with spinning rollers that split the grapes as they are fed through the gap.
Then grape skins are separated from the liquid with hand powered presses or modern presses: either pneumatic which is more common and uses an inflatable cylinder to compress the grapes or the electric variety.
Storage can be in stainless steel tanks, which are often used by wineries since they are easier to maintain and clean; or oak vats and barrels to further refine and improve the flavor and texture of your wine.
Time heals all wounds…and makes great wine. If you wait for it, solid sediment will sink to the bottom and leave “clean” liquid at the surface. Wine clarification can also be achieved through more modern and quicker filtration processes.