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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crushing/pressing on the back forty - Week 3 recap

For many, the act of making wine is tied to memories of grandparents, great grandparents.  

Wild grapes from behind the store,
too sour to use
By Steve Siciliano

The piles of discarded grape stems, squeezed apples and pressed skins on the edge of the back parking lot grew a little larger this past Saturday as another round of wine and cider makers took advantage of the free use of our crushing and pressing equipment. Weather-wise it was an extraordinary day with a cloudless sky and afternoon temperatures that touched the eighties, quite atypical of crush-time in Michigan. Just a reminder—you have two more Saturdays, the 15th and 22nd, to use our cider and wine making equipment free of charge.

After a busy morning there was an extended lull and then a burst of activity in the afternoon. During the lull, it felt good to be able to sit leisurely in the shade of the warehouse and visit with the steady stream of customers who stopped by to chat.

The last person to use the equipment was a young lady who drove down from Sand Lake with a load of grapes. While I helped her with the crushing and pressing she told me that the grapes were from vines her great grandfather had planted and she remembered him using a burlap bag to press the grape skins. It made me think about my own grandfather, about the old press that he had used and the unlabeled bottles of red and white he would retrieve from his cellar during our family get-togethers.

It was a good way to end another day of winemaking.


  1. Great time tonight getting the Cali and MI grapes crushed and de-stemmed, looking forward to pressing next week!

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