Wine Press

The press is the winemaker’s traditional tool used to squeeze the last bit of goodness from the grapes.  With red wines, we will wait until fermentation is nearly finished to extract the color, flavor, and richness from the skins.  With whites, we’ll typically press directly after crushing or in some instances we’ll press whole clusters.  Traditionally you’ll see presses constructed with a screw shaft with a ratchet on top.  I decided to build a hydraulic type press that uses a hydraulic jack to drive the press plate down into the basket to press the grapes.

Building the press with off the shelf materials presented a number of challenges but in general, it was pretty simple and works like a champ.  Overall cost was less than $200.

© Steve Hughes 2012