In wine making, the juice must be extracted from the grapes and you must have the skill, time and fine blend of fruits to make great tasting wines. Pressing is one of the processes involved in wine making, which is the act of applying pressure to grapes or other fruits to separate juice or wine from them and their skins.
Most wineries use a device called the wine press to increase their production per ton. The amount of juice produced from pressing makes up about 30% of the total juice volume from grapes. Before the arrival of modern wine making, winemakers pressed grapes in a large basin using their feet. Take a look below at the different styles of wine presses which help in the production of high quality wines (especially those that deserve to be stored in a functional custom wine cellar).
The first type of wine press was the basket style press which is one of the oldest means of extracting grape juice. Most basket presses are made of wood and are manually operated. The operator of a basket press throws batches of grapes into the basket (or a cylinder of wooden slats), positions the top plate in its proper place and slowly lowers it down until the juice flows from the wooden slats. With enough pressure, the grapes are crushed and the grape juice is extracted from them leaving the skins, stems, seeds, and pulp of the fruit also known as pomace.
The main advantage of the basket press is its ability to reduce the filtering needed for the finished product and to lessen the bitterness caused by seeds and stems. Another benefit of this style of wine press is its affordability.
The bladder press makes use of household water pressure through a garden hose to expand a bladder located in the center of the press. It has a large cylinder closed at each end, where the fruits are loaded into. As the bladder expands, it pushes and presses the grapes against the sides.
Bladder presses are popular for the high quality wines they can produce. They are also known to be gentler to the grapes compared to basket presses. By using a bladder press, the astringency is reduced because it doesn’t crack the seeds. Other advantages of bladder presses include less physical effort required to operate, they can be moved around easily because of its light weight and they are easy to sanitize.
Horizontal Screw Press
The principle used in a horizontal screw press is the same as that of the basket press. Grapes are squeezed not by bringing down a plate from above but by bringing down plates from either side of a closed cylinder. It can handle far more grapes compared to the basket press and bladder press. Only medium pressure is required in using this device.
Other styles of wine presses which provide lots of benefits to winemakers include the continuous screw press, vertical screw press and pneumatic press. Whichever press you want to use in wine making, make sure that the right amount of pressure is used to produce high quality wines for your wine cellar.