After several tedious weeks of pressing down caps, ensuring that our red wine juice and skins remain mixed, primary fermentation is complete! The must is now ready to be pressed and barreled!
To extract the juice from our must, we utilize a "Bladder Press". This machine separates the juice from all seeds, skins, and stems by forcing the liquid through a fine mesh wall. Must is inserted through the open top of the device, then a plastic bladder is slowly filled with water. As the bladder fills, the must is pressed against the wall, allowing only juice to escape. The juice funnels down into a holding tank, and the stems, skins, and seeds stay trapped within the bladder press for later disposal.
Collected juice is placed into wooden barrels, where it will spend several months aging in our cellar. We will check the wine's sulfer dioxide (a preservative) levels monthly, along with liquid volume to ensure evaporation isn't occurring too rapidly. During this time, it is very important that we maintain a relatively high humidity level and cool (but not cold) temperature within the cellar. This will help to prevent evaporation of the wine, ensure our barrel seals' integrity, and stave off the reproduction of spoilage organisms. A cool temperature can also help regulate the speed at which complex chemical reactions within our wine are taking place.
Check out the video below to see us in action!