On a rainy November 17, members of the Saanich Sommeliers and the Nanaimo Winemakers participated in the last joint grape crush for 2015. During October-November, over 40,000 pounds of premium vineyard grapes were received, crushed & destemmed, and distributed to participating members. Grapes were sourced from selected vineyards located in the south Okanagan region of BC.
Because grape varietals do not ripen concurrently, multiple crushes were required (5 in 2015), each delivered by refrigerated truck directly from the vineyards. The Nanaimo club destemmer/crusher was used to process the grapes into members’ buckets or barrels. . For crushes involving white grapes, Nanaimo’s bladder press was available for those who wished to press juice off the skins immediately.
On this day, over 17,000 pounds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Viogner were processed. Timing was unusually late, as a decision had been made to lengthen Cabernet grape hang time by 2 weeks due to a cooler early Fall. Previous crushes included Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris.
A primary objective of the Club is to source quality grapes for members’ winemaking efforts. In 2015, special attention was placed on coordination between the Saanich and Nanaimo clubs, with great success.
Thanks to Dave Burt of the Nanaimo Winemakers for his efforts in making this year’s grape procurement so successful.
Click the video above to see the crusher/destemmer in action: