Fresh Grape Packing Action for the Nation’s Home Winemakers (Lodi Wine)

Every mid-September through early October, one of the common sights in vineyards in Lodi is pickers loading grapes into 40-pound lug boxes. Next to the vines, the pickers weigh each lug box on scales in order to be as precise as possible. At the edge of the vineyards, on the side of the road, the lugs are then emptied into colorful wooden boxes by grape packers.


Testing the Must for Sugar Content, pH and TA (MoreWine!)

Before you add the yeast, you need to test the must to determine if any additions/corrections are needed. Very rarely will you get a grape that naturally has the required balance of acids, sugars, and pH necessary to create a harmonious wine. When one or more of these elements are out of their ideal ranges, the quality of the wine suffers.

Sorting grapes

Harvest 101: The Basics of Crush Season (Wine Spectator)

Sports teams have playoffs. Students have finals. And for winegrowers, the big sink-or-swim moment—the event the whole year’s efforts have led up to—is harvest. The period culminating in grape crush begins when the grapes start to change color in mid to late summer. The actual picking of the grapes usually happens between August and November above the equator and February to April below.

The Crush is the First Step in Turning Grapes into Wine (VinePair)

Foot treading is anything but the homey, silly dance most drinkers imagine when they think of traditional grape-stomping rituals. In reality, foot treading is far more work than modern methods for crushing grapes, though it starts the winemaking process off as efficiently as more advanced and modern methods.

How to Harvest Quality Fruit (Western Agricultural Research Center – MSU)

Aim for harvesting on a cool, dry day, as dry grapes will store longer than wet grapes. There are a couple different harvesting tools to choose from. One option is to use sharp pruning shears/clippers (we prefer the more scissor-like trimmers with narrow tips) rather than pulling clusters by hand, as this will ensure you’re not damaging the vine or knocking off other clusters.

How To Crush Grapes And Why It’s Important! (AIH)

Crushing the wine grapes is a very straight forward process. All you do is burst the skin of each grape. This is necessary to release the juice. It also allows the yeast and enzymes into the grape to further break down the fiber and release even more juice along with flavor and body elements that will make up the character of the resulting wine.

Using a Grape Crusher Destemmer (The Home Winemaking Channel)

This is a Marchisio Manual Crusher Destemmer with a stainless hopper and grate. The grapes that we are running through it are old vine zinfandel from Lodi, California. The crusher destemmer has a mount for a motor but for anything under 500lbs it would not be necessary.

Monitoring and Adjusting pH (WineMaker)

I am always surprised at how many winemakers — new and experienced alike — still make wine with absolutely no concern for pH. It’s akin to never checking the engine oil in your car. Sooner or later, you’ll be left stranded by the side of the road, hood open, and smoke billowing from the engine . . . or with a case of spoiled wine.

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