Back in November our winemaker, Richard, pressed a portion of the Cabernet Franc grapes by hand. He used a traditional basket press to do the job, a design that’s been used by winemakers for thousands of years. It’s labor-intensive, but worthwhile. “The method you use to ferment wine depends on the age of the vine,” explains Richard. To ensure each batch is aged properly, we separate the juice of the younger vines from the juice produced from the older vines. “Eventually we’ll combine them when we bottle the wine, but for now we need to age them separately.”
Most of the time, we use a large pressing machine to process our grapes, but when we need to do a small batch, such as these grapes from the young Cabernet Franc vines, we do it by hand in the basket press.