We harvested over 750 lbs of our Chambourcin grapes this morning to experiment with making rosé wine. This relatively small harvest served a double purpose: to try and make rosé, and to make sure our new (used) grape processing equipment will work as we hope before be pick the bulk of the grapes later this month.
We got an early start, the fog had not even lifted, and it was still pleasantly cool. First order of business: remove the bird netting:
We alternated picking and crushing/destemming, then dumping the grapes into the press. All this took five of us about two and a half hours, plus another half hour for clean up.
The used crusher/destemmer we got earlier this summer worked surprisingly well. Jeff had to rewire the barn in order to get a 220 V outlet, and a friend build us a stand for underneath the destemmer, which made it a lot more sturdy. Yesterday we scrubbed everything again with soapy water, then power-washed it prior to using it today. Here is a video showing how it worked:
We then dumped the crushed grapes into the press, and collected the free run juice first. This will be the juice we use for the rosé wine. We then pressed the grapes and collected the pressed juice for a separate batch of wine.