Madsen Family Cellars Blog

Dusk was beginning to settle in as we prepared for our first pressing of the season.  The Chardonnay had sat for two full days right in the tasting room, adorned with its old bed sheet, and turning into a strange pulpy stew. And now it was ready to press.

Pressing is the second step in the process. Just as the name suggests a press is used to squeeze the juice from the grapes. In this case a hydraulic one. It is a system of simple sophistication, and one that has been used for centuries, minus the electric pump of course. A slatted barrel is used along with a type of straining cloth, a sort of large cheese cloth. The barrel is put in place on the hydraulic pump, which has a trough around the edge, and a very large bucket at the spout to catch the juice. Then tubes are…

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