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Joe Hudon
September 22, 2017 | Joe Hudon

Next steps in harvest – Destemmer

It is time now to talk about an important machine that we use to make wine. The destemmer plays a very important role in the whole process of making wine. This is how it works: The forklift feeds the hopper which feeds the destemmer which feeds the must pump which feeds the tank/bins.

We call it a destemmer (not destemmer/crusher) as we do not use the rollers that are used to crush the fruit. The destemming action is a gentle process. The destemming drum is designed such that it avoids maceration of the berries because we want to keep the berries whole. This is done with counter sunk holes that are rounded. The speed of the paddles are set to move relatively slow to create a gentle processing of the fruit to the must pump. The paddles turn in the opposite direction of the destemming
drum and move the material other than grapes (MOG) out to the waste bin and the holes within the drum allow the berries to fall freely down to the must pump. We want to have some whole berries in an effort to produce carbonic maceration within the grape berries which promotes greater fruit aroma and flavor. Some of the berries will be crushed under the weight of the fruit in the 1/2 ton harvesting bins. And some will be crushed in the must line which can run from 50-100 feet. We hope that through this
gentle process we retain at least 20% whole berries. The berries will break as the skins weaken in the fermenter from extraction.

Check out our YouTube to view the process!


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