A pressing matter

Hand pressing, squeezing in normal parlance, the wine from the skins, et al.
Hand pressing, squeezing in normal parlance, the wine from the skins, et al.
Strainer became spoon with all of the suspended sediment.
Strainer became spoon with all of the suspended sediment.

We hand-picked each grape from the clusters, we hand crushed the grapes, now we hand pressed them!  The Petit Verdot was dry by Friday, so first thing Saturday morning, like an excited kid, I began squeezing the grape skins dry.  Better than making my first snowball of the winter season is making my first grape pomace ball and throwing it in the bucket.  Done well the skins and seeds fall apart before they reach the bottom.

My excitement wore thin as my hands began to cramp and my arms grow weary, but it never quite left me.  My valiant husband stood by me, pressing the skins dry beside me, working to lighten the load I had chosen without complaint or cross word.  I so appreciate him!  Nearly forty pounds of skins, seeds and sediment from the fermentation process were removed from the dark magenta liquid.  Once we removed the solids we had to let it settle so the suspended particles would find their way back to the bottom of the bin.

Grape skins and seeds before 'pressing', shiny and plump.
Grape skins and seeds before ‘pressing’, shiny and plump.
Grapes after 'pressing' , crumpled and dull in color as all the best of the grape is in the wine.
Grapes after ‘pressing’ , crumpled and dull in color as all the best of the grape is in the wine.

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