Preparing Wine Barrels

Making Great Wine at Home

The winemaking process for Orange, NSW Merlot 2013.

 

Processing the grapes

After picking the Merlot all morning, by mid afternoon we had enough to move into the winery at De Salis to start processing the grapes. As you can see I have 6 x 120L plastic drums. 

I decided to do something a little different with this late picked Merlot. I filled 2 drums with whole bunches, the rest through the crusher/destemmer, making sure the rolls weren't crushing the grapes. This meant I was getting pretty well intact whole berries. I wanted the grapes to be undamaged allowing for gentler processing, less exposure to oxygen, slower fermentation and potential for a little carbonic maceration. 

After a couple of hours processing the grapes, I was happy with the result. I had about 600kg of Merlot, with 400kg destemmed and 200kg whole bunch.

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