Keys to a Great Crush and Press

When the harvest season rolls around each year, and winemakers gear up for the busy season, a winemaker’s plans to improve on the previous vintage should have already started in spring and early summer. Perhaps we want to be better at keeping records, or just didn’t like the way a certain batch turned out the previous vintage and we’re looking for new techniques or equipment to purchase. Regardless of what you want to improve, it is best to plan ahead. Much of home winemaking can be looked at as “chemistry oriented,” such as analyzing your juice and making adjustments with sugar or acid. In those cases, your equipment is a secondary concern. (If you’re adding acid to juice, it doesn’t matter if the juice is in a plastic bucket, a glass carboy or a stainless vessel. The acid addition is the same.) However, two aspects of winemaking — crushing and pressing — are a combination of technique and equipment. In this article, we will explore some options that will serve as a foundation of knowledge to lead you to a great crush