Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The Harvest at Wisteria - Part 2
With the grapes moved in from the vines, it was clear that the harvest work was just beginning. The idea is to quickly get them off the stems and partially crushed, which is usually done with a machine. Then the juice and grapes are cooled overnight for pressing the next day.
There is some statistical work that has to be done with the harvest during this preliminary stage, including calculating the total weight of the grapes so that the estimated wine yield can be reported to the state. So the procedure was to weigh every tenth tub before the contents were poured into the crusher, take the average weight from this sample, and multiply it by the number of tubs.
A couple of the volunteers did this part of the activity, while several others of us helped with the de-stemming and crushing. Tub-by-tub, the grapes were dumped into the machine, spilling out into much larger tubs afterwards. A couple of dozen one gallon ice cubes are added to them, and when they are full, they are moved into the cellar for storage overnight.
We filled several of these with the Seyval harvest. After everything was done, for the day, we cleaned up, planning to come back on Sunday to crush the grapes. That’s work that doesn’t start as early, thankfully.