Pressing Matters…

May 27th, 2010 | Posted by

Pressing Pinot Noir at Sandihurst Winery From this picture you can see in a nutshell the process I go through when pressing the Pinot Noir skins here at Sandihurst Winery. The fermenter holds around 1.5 tonnes of grapes. Once fermentation is finished the skins gradually start to sink to the bottom of the vat. With regular tasting I make the call on when the wine needs to be pressed off its skins (largely based on the level of tannin extraction and its integration into the wine as a whole). The stainless steel sieve is placed into the fermenter and I pump off the 'free run' wine to a tank to settle it. Whats left then is the skins. These are bucketed by hand into the elevator which in turn takes the skins into the press. The press cycle takes around 3 hours to complete although again it requires regular tasting to ensure the harder press elements are not too harsh and bitter for a decent wine. After a days settling I will rack the wine down to barrel where it begins another phase of its life, the elevage, during which the malolactic fermentation will take place. More on that later.