A one-ton bin of grapes ready for the destemmer at Red Newt.
To the machine
A forklift hoists the bin into place and grapes are raked into the destemmer.
Grapes fall through the grid and get knocked off their stems by the metal rods.
Stems are spit out the side of the machine and composted.
Cabernet franc juice
A generator pumps the berries through a tube and into their resting place.
A healthy grape next to one affected with botrytis.
Rice hulls are the coatings of rice and they're used in a lot of Finger Lakes riesling and white wine production. They pierce the grape skins and maximize the amount of juice the press can squeeze out of the grapes.
The press at Red Newt
A press is a cylindrical steel drum lined with a rubber bladder. Air is forced between the two and causes the bladder to contract around the grapes inside. It squeezes the juice out onto a tray under the press as it rotates. A tube pumps the juice from the tray into a tank, where it sits for two or three days to let the solids settle.
Riesling juice collecting onto the tray
After two or three days, the fresh juice is racked from its solids and siphoned into another tank.
The first and last steps of DE filtering
What's left after racking is passed through a mesh strainer to catch any skins and seeds and stems that snuck through the destemmer. Diatomaceous earth is added, the liquid is filtered, and what comes out is the clean juice on the right.
This fermenting pinot gris sample was at 6 brix. The lower the brix, the further along in the fermentation process, as the yeast have eaten more of the sugars.