At the winery, the white grapes are in and crushed. Today we pulled in the first of the red grapes: Primitivo! “What is Primitivo?” I hear you ask? It is a red grape of the Zinfandel family which hails from the southern end of Italy. The “heel” to be exact! Here in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, we are becoming known for really good Zinfandel, although there are some other really great varietals grown here too! So let’s go take a look at the process for the reds, shall we?
Numerous bins come in filled with grapes. Each bin can hold up to 1,000 pounds, depending on the size of the grape. The bins are then lifted to a device that will hold the bin which will be moved gradually to release the grapes. Here is a shot of the grapes being dumped where they will head onto the sorting tray…
From the bin on its way to the sorting table
Now just so you know, it is really hard to get a good shot of the grapes dropping and this was the best one I had after taking about 20!
On the sorting table, just like with the white grapes, leaf debris and bad clusters are removed as the grapes travel down the table…
Hand sorting the Primitivo
Here is another shot of them moving down the table. Check out the size and quality of these grapes! They are magnificent and they are sweet! Keep in mind when looking at this photo, the grapes are “jumping” on the table as they travel downhill which is why there is a bit of blur.
Primitivo on the sorting table
From the sorting table, the grapes travel up a conveyor on their way to the de-stemmer machine. Again, another moving photo where my stop action could not stop the action!
Primitivo on its way to the de-stemmer
This next photo shows the grapes going “over the top” where they fall into the de-stemmer.
Clusters falling in to the de-stemmer
Here is a shot of the grapes and juice blowing out of the de-stemmer and back into a bin, where primary fermentation will start.
Primitivo coming out of the destemmer
And here is a bin that clearly shows you not only the juices from the grapes, but the grapes with skins that starts primary fermentation. There is no need to worry about the small pieces of stem that you will see in this bin. They do not add flavor to the wine.
Primitivo ready to start fermentation
And the stem residue? Here you go! All of this debris will go back out to the fields to compost amongst the vines.
The residual stems
Well that is the process for the red wine grapes! I hope that you enjoyed this post on the reds!
Thank you for visiting with me today, and I hope that you have a stupendous Thursday! See you tomorrow where I will share another kind of harvest!
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