Journal | Follow the 2019 Harvest | August 28, 2019

Hardscrabble Journal

Pressing Matters

Yesterday was Linden’s first day of crush. But we didn’t crush. We whole-cluster pressed. Perhaps some explanation is required.

The term “crush” is winemaking jargon for all the processing involved in turning grapes into fermenting wine. This could include receiving grapes, chilling them, sorting, destemming, crushing, and pressing. However, some of these steps may be skipped depending on philosophies and organization.

In yesterday’s case with the Boisseau Chardonnay and Viognier, we decided to bypass the destemming and crushing. After sorting, the whole clusters went directly into the press. We’ve experimented with this technique over the years and are increasingly liking the results. The down side is that only about 65 lugs (lugs are the yellow harvest baskets that hold 20 to 25 pounds each of grapes) fit into a press load (vs. up to 200 for crushed fruit). It also takes more time to press. Yesterday this was possible because both plantings at Boisseau vineyard are quite small.

The upside is that the character of the juice is more consistent and pure, whereas crushed grapes can result in a more bitter, hollow tasting juice late in the pressing cycle. Another advantage is that we don’t have to clean the destemmer and crusher!

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Linden Vineyards / Learn More / Latest at Linden | Journal: August 28, 2019