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whole cluster pressing

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lovewine45

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hello, my name is paula and I am a home wine maker living in san jose california. When I find a wine that I like at a winery I always look at the wine making techniques if provided by the wine maker. I often hear whole cluster pressing and sur lie. Can anyone explain how to do either of these, so I may be able to try this when making my own wine. Whole cluster was used with a pinot and sur lie with a savignon blanc.

Thanks paula
 

Wade E

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Whole cluster pressing is the act of skipping the Crusher/Destemmer as to not let the must sit in contact with the skins and seeds and stems at all except for the time it takes to press out while usually the clusters go through a crusher and destemmer and sit in a vessel with contact on the skins and stuff which can add some harsher malic acids and astringent tannis. Sur lie aging is the act of letting your wine age on the lees which will give it more complexity and mouth feel. These are not the lees from primary fermentation as those contain solids which can spoil. Welcome aboard our forum and hope you stay and learn with us.
 

lovewine45

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how to whole cluster press.

Hello paula here, I have only been making wine for two years. So while trying to understand how one would whole cluster press. Would the skins be slightly broken and fermented prior to pressing for a red wine?


Thanks Paula
 

Wade E

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the act of pressing would bust all or mostly all of them. Remember with white wine you dont want to press to hard at all as youll break the seeds in the grape and extract too much of the astringent tannins that seeds contain. You basically ant to catch the very first glass of juice and keep pressing the grapes until you start to notice a taste difference and stop there.
 

winemaker_3352

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Not sure if this is 100% correct - but from the reading i have done in sur lie aging you stir once a month for up to 6 months or until you get the desired taste.

And this is not to be confused with battonage - stir 2 times a week for 6-8 weeks.
 
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