Technique

Choosing and Using a Wine Pump

Many a home winery gets by just fine with no pump at all. If your hobby grows, though, you may find that many routine tasks are made simpler with the help of a wine pump. Some home winemaking jobs, like filtration or removing wine from barrels, may be virtually impossible without a pump. In commercial wineries, pumps may be employed at every stage of winemaking. At home, the use of a pump is less likely at some stages. Beginning with grapes just in from the vineyard, the first place a pump might be used is at the destemmer. Most home winemakers destem and crush their grapes directly into the fermentation bins. While commercial wineries might have a heavy-duty must pump for transporting the crushed must, most of us at home just use buckets if we need to transfer. For home use, however, there are so-called “stirring destemmers” available. These machines include a hopper on top for the grapes, a mid-body section configured as a conventional destemmer with paddles and a grate, plus a lower sump with an integral must pump.