VINICULTUREPost Harvest/ Pre-Crush

WINERY A Building or Property Where the Harvested Grapes Are Taken and the Wine is Produced.

  • Some Wineries Have Attached Vineyards Which Make Them Estate Wineries, Some Own Vineyards In Other Areas and Bring In Their Fruit to Produce Wine, Some Own No Vineyards at All and Buy or Source Their Fruit From Other Vineyards. Most Wineries Have Bottling Line, Sellers, and Tasting Room, Retail Shops and Feature Laboratories to Better Produce Their Wines.

BONDED WINERY A Commercial Enterprise That Produces and Stores Wine Under a Bond That Guarantees Payment of the Federal Excise Tax. Wines Sold In Bond Haven’t Yet Had the Duty and Vat/ Sales Tax Paid On Them.

  • As of 2016 There Where 7,496 Bonded Wineries In United States…
    • California- 3,062   |   Washington- 700
    • Oregon- 439   |   Other States- 3,295
    • **Refer to WINE & TAXES For Additional Information.

CRUSH Term Used to Describe Totality of Harvest and Then Wine Making Process.

  • After Harvest There’s a Rush to Get the Grapes to Winery to Start Vinification. Harvest is Usually Done Early In Morning to Maintain Acidity, Brix Levels, and Avoid the Start of Fermentation by Keeping the Grapes In a Controlled Cold Environment.
  • After Grapes Arrive at Wineries Some Grapes Go to Sorting Table Some Grapes Go Right to De-Stemmer and Some Are Processed Whole Cluster

CUSTOM CRUSH FACILITY A Licensed and Bonded Winery That Lets Other Wine Brands Make Wine at Its Facility.  They Provides a Rented Wine Facility Where It’s Economical to Produced Wine, Bottle, Warehouse or Ship Wine From.

  • Grape Producers With No Winery or Equipment Can Take Their Harvest and Vinify Their Grapes In a Rented Facility, On Loaned Equipment.  Wine Maker Can Do the Entire Process Personally or Pay the Facility to Do Parts of the Process For Them.  It’s and Increasingly Popular Economical Way For a Small Producer or Wine Enthusiast to Produce Wine On a Small Scale Work With Staff and Consultants While Collecting Experience.
  • Reasons For Custom Crush/ Thing to Share at at Cost:
    • Processing(Sorting, Crushing), Fermenting, Blending, Bottling, Warehousing, Consultation, Collaboration, Troubleshooting, Onsite Lab
  • Cost:
    • Bulk Custom Crush Facility Charge $500 to $1,000 Per Ton.
    • High-Quality Boutique Facilities Charge $1,500 to $3,000 Per Ton.
  • WORK ORDER WINE- Having a Winemaker Produce a Wine For You by an Order Sheet.
    • Pick the Grapes at a Certain Brix %, Macerate the Must For a Certain Period of Time. Fermentation at a Precise Temperature.  Work Order Wine is Extremely Informal. (The Owner of the Wine is Often In a Different State or Country.)

CRUSH-PAD Area of Winery, Usually Outside But Covered. This is Where the Bins of Grapes Are Received and the Wine Making Process Begins.

  • The Crush Pad Design of the Winery is a Crucial Area of the Winery and One That Need Though and Foresight When Putting Together.  Cost Must Be Taken Into Account and Implementation of All Aspects of the Needs of the Winemaker.
    • Weather   |   Wiring
    • Drains   |   Flooring Surface
    • Mirrors   |   Catwalks
    • Sight Into Cellar
    • Lift/ Elevating Conveyors
    • Grape Sorting Table/ Vibrating Table
    • Hopper   |   Crusher Destemmer
    • Grape Press   |   Forklift

SORTING Process of Removing Leaves, Twigs, Pieces of Stems, Unripe/ Over-Ripe, Disease Effected Grapes and Anything Potentially Adding Unwanted Flavors to Wine. Some Sorting Table are Belt Driven, Some Are Just a Table.

  • Field Sorting- Having a Person or Team In the Vineyard Sorting Grapes as They Are Picked Off the Vines and Before They Are Sent to the Crush Pad.
  • Double- Sorting Grapes Twice…Usually In Vineyard and a Second Time In the Crush Pad by Hand or With a Optical Berry Sorter.
  • Optical Berry Sorting Table- Table That Uses a Camera-Scanner to Sort Berries That Come Across the Conveyor Belt. Berries Are Put Into a Hopper and Goes Through Different Sections That Separate Different Components of the Bunches.  After the Bunches Are Destemed the Berries Go On a High Speed Conveyor, the Individual Berries Are Analyzes With Light Waves at a Rapid Rate. The Optical Sensor Analyzes the Berries In Mid Flight. The Scanner Compares Each Berry’s Shape, For Damages, Color and Size Against Pre-Set Qualification. The Sorter Uses a Hundred Compressed Air Guns to Shoot and Discard Non-Worther Berries.  At the End You Are Left With Perfect Clean Fruit to Go to Ferment With.
    • A Crew of 6  Can Process/ Sort 1.5 Tons of Grapes Per Hour at a Hourly Wage of $15 an Hour.  That’s a Sorting Cost of $100 Per Ton.  An Optical Sorer Can Process/Sort 7- 8 Tons an Hour.
  • Negative Selection Sorting- Taking Out All Low Quality Grapes That Come Across the Sorting Table.
  • Positive Selection Sorting- Selecting Only Highest Quality Grapes That Come Across the Sorting Table For Wine Production.
  • Whole Cluster Sort-
  • No Sorting, High In Mog-
  • Mog- (Material Other Than Grapes)

Sometimes After the First Sorting Table and After the Destemmer the Grape Go Down a Second Sorting Table.


  • Must Plunger
  • A Scooper
  • Food-Grade Buckets
  • Funnel and Two Strainers
  • Food Grade Tubing
  • Primary Fermenter

GRAVITY FLOW/ GRAVITY FED VINICULTURE Winery is Designed Vertically and Enables the Winemaker to Process the Grapes, Must and Wine In the Most Gentle Method Possible.  This Allows Wine to Stream From Different Level and Areas of the Wine Production Process Without Violent Agitation of Pumping.  The Advantage of a Gravity-Flow Winery Along With Its Energy Efficiency is the Ability to Move the Grapes, Juice and Wine From Harvest to Fermentation to Barrel Aging With out the Use of Pumps. Pumping  Wine Potentially Exposes the Wine to Oxidation and Other Stresses.

  • Typically Gravity Flow Wineries Are Comprised of 4 Levels, Each Separate Onto Different Floor Levels.
    • 1– Receiving/ Crush Pad Level- Grapes Are De-Stemmed and Sorted.
    • 2- Fermentation Level- Grapes Are Dropped Into Fermentation Tanks Below On A Rotating Carousel.
      • The Wine Press Can Be Located On This Level Also.
    • 3- Cellar/ Storage Tank Level- After Fermentation the Must is Dropped Into the Press Below. Then Pressed Wine is Passed Into Settling Tanks Then Into Barrels For Aging.
    • 4- Bottling Level- At the Lowest Level the Wine is Bottled and Stored.
  • With the Help of Gravity, Grapes Falls Gently Through the Multiple Vinification Procedures In the Winery. The Process is Simple and Its Worthiness Has Been Validated as Part of the “Burgundian Method” of Wine Making For Centuries by Low Volume Producers Making High Quality Wines. Recently Other Regions of the World Are Catching On. Unlike Traditional One Level Wineries Gravity Flow Uses No Pumps or Mechanical Force, This Allow For Gently Extraction of Color, Flavor and Tannin.


  • Dry-Ice is Essentially Frozen Carbon Dioxide Gas (In a Solid Form) and Will Cool the Air or Liquid In Proximity to Where the Dry-Ice is Placed.
  • Dry-Ice is Often Placed In Incoming Harvest Bins, This Cools the Grapes and Bin While Releasing Carbon Dioxide Gas as It Warms. This Process Also Helps Deter Bacterial Growth and Prevent Spontaneous Fermentation by Wild Yeast In the Grapes and Juice as They Await Fermentation.
  • An Advantage of Using Dry-Ice is That it Cools the Grapes Without Adding Any Additional Water That May Decrease the Sugar Concentration In the Must and Decreasing Alcohol Concentration In the Finished Wine.
  • Dry Ice Never Melts, It Goes Directly From the Solid to the Gaseous Phase.

WINE LABORATORY Room or Lab Where Analytical Processes On Wine is Performed. Wine-Labs Are Either On Site In the Cast of Most Large Estate Wineries.  Some Wine-Labs Are In the Local Towns.  For the Rest of the Wine World,  There Are Sent In by Mail.  Over 25 Different Chemical, Microbiological and Sensory Analyses Can Be Scrutinized All In Effort of Enhance the Quality of the Finished Wine.

    • Alcohol %   |   Brix %   |   PH.   |   Color                    
    • Specific Gravity   |   Wine Stability        
    • Phenolic Analysis   |   Citric Acid                        
    • Lactic Acid   |   Malic Acid   |   Sorbic Acid 
    • Titratable Aciditic   |    Volatile Acidity          
    • Total Acidity   |   Diacetyl %          
    • Ammonia Levels   |   Yeast Available Nitrogen        
    • Sugar Analysis…Residual Sugar/ Glucose/Fructose
    • Free Sulfur Dioxide/ Total Sulfur Dioxide


Phenolic Analysis Includes Compounds That Are Indicator of Important  Phenolic Reaction as Well as Compounds The Directly Affect Wine Flavor and Color.  These Are a Great Tools For Monitoring the Processes That Influence Phenolic Accumulation, Extraction, and Development In Wine.

    • Gallic Acid   |   Catechin
    • Epicatechin   |   Tannin
    • Caftaric Acid   |   Caffeic Acid
    • Total Anthocyanins   |   Malvidin Glucoside
    • Monomeric/ Polymetic Anthocyanins
    • Quercetin Glycosides/ Aglycone

It Takes A Lot of Beer to Make Great Wine.

**Refer to BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.