Your Best Crush and Press

By: Jeff Shoemaker
This article originally appeared in the Aug/Sept. Issue of WineMaker Magazine.
 Click here to purchase this issue. 

Crush is the day wine makers look forward to most. It’s the time when the grapes finally come home to be processed into wine. But, before the grapes come in there are preparations that need to be made in order to make it the best crush ever! In this article I will go over how to prepare and make this day go as smooth as possible. Before you get started, I encourage you to read through the process of red and white wine making to ensure you don’t forget anything during the process. Even after 8 years of making wine, I still have an “oh yeah, that’s right!” moment when brushing up on the process again for the year.           

Where are You Getting Your Fruit?
The first part of the process is to source your fruit. If you have your own vineyard harvest will be more predictable and you’ll have time to prepare leading up to crush day (although it always seems to sneak up on me some reason.) Otherwise you need to seek out a grape distributor or local grower well in advance of crush season.  An internet search for wine grape distributors or you-pick vineyards near your zip code will yield results to help you nail down where you can obtain your fruit; or you can join one of the few online winemaking forums for guidance. Vineyards provide a broad range of when they’ll be harvesting (mother nature can make it difficult to pinpoint harvest far in advance,) whereas a distributor will be able to provide a date when the trucks are arriving with the grapes. Distributors will likely expect you to place your order weeks or months in advance over the phone or on their website. If you don’t place an order and just waltz down there, you can expect slim pickings and poor quality grapes no one else would accept. If you choose a local you-pick vineyard, be sure to develop a relationship with them and maybe even stop out to the vineyard and walk around to check out the operation and see how things are done. You can ask the grower to contact you when they plan to harvest, but it also doesn’t hurt to occasionally touch base with them close to harvest (no one is perfect, they may forget to call you.)

Another consideration is how you will transport the grapes back home. Depending on the amount you’re purchasing, you may need to arrange to borrow a truck. Some growers will crush and press your grapes on-site for free, which could be put into buckets and easily transported in a car or SUV (be sure to buckle those babies up!)This allows you to forgo buying expensive crushing and pressing equipment (have you ever cleaned a crusher/destemmer? Do it once and I’m sure you’ll be an on-site crush enthusiast!)

If the grower can crush for you, be sure to bring Potassium Metabisulfite powder to add to the must. This ensures you get early protection in place. Calculate what you need using the Winemaker Magazine Sulfite Calculator which can be accessed via cell phone. The result can be weighed out with a digital scale and added to the must.

The Space is the Place
Crushing operations are typically done anywhere outside. The process of sorting and crushing grapes can make quite the mess. It’s a good idea to do this in an area (such as a cement pad, or driveway) that can be sprayed down after with a garden hose. Crushing is not recommended in the yard (unless you lay a tarp down under the crusher) as grape debris is not easily cleaned up and will inevitably attract fruit flies.  It’s nice to have the crush pad close to where the wines are being fermented for ease of transfer from crusher to primary fermenter, but not mandatory. If your crush pad is far from the cellar, the grapes can be crushed into a shallow tub which can be carried to the cellar by two people where the wines will be

 Fermentation should be done inside, be it your garage (but temperature swings may be an issue along with fruit flies,) or in the house where temperatures won’t fluctuate too much throughout the day. Temperature control should be a consideration when fermentation commences. Reds are typically not allowed to get above 85F (29C) and whites are fermented at cooler temperatures in the range of 55F-65F (12C-18C.) Brew belts and space heaters can be used to keep the wine warm. White wine carboys can be submerged up to the neck of the carboy in a tub of water and frozen one gallon jugs (ice bombs) are then added to the water as needed to keep the temperature in the proper range throughout fermentation. Ice bombs can also be used in a red wine must to tame a fast and hot fermentation. Just be sure to dip the whole jug in a sanitizer solution and rinse well with clean water prior to adding it to the must.

The Right Tools for the Job
If you’re lucky enough to live near a home winemaking store, it’s likely they’ll have equipment to rent for the day. This is something that needs secured in advance of crush. Otherwise these items can be purchased online or locally new or used. When considering your purchase, keep in mind this equipment is only available at certain times of the year, usually in the spring time.

Equipment for Crush
Sorting Table: Before the grapes touch the crusher they should be sorted. This is directed toward those of you with your own vineyard, or if you have chosen to go with a you-pick vineyard. The grapes I’ve seen from distributors are typically pretty clean and may require significantly less sorting. Although, there may be moldy clusters due to the grapes being shipped across the country; keep an eye out! On my crush pad I use an 8’ folding table with a tarp on top (which can be sanitized) and a simple 2”x4” wooden barrier secured with C-clamps around the parameter of the table to prevent any rogue grapes from falling off. The grapes are loaded by the bucket onto the table to be sorted through. Sorted grapes are pushed off the open end of the table into a tub which is then loaded into the crusher. This is where it really pays to have helpers pick out M.O.G (material other than grapes.) Anything from bugs to poor quality grapes, and in my neck of the woods-the dreaded stink bug.

When you bring home a ½ ton macro bin of grapes, it may be difficult to use your pitchfork to transfer grapes from the bin, to the table and then to the crusher. In this case just keep your eyes open for foreign objects in the grapes and go from the bin to the crusher.

A crusher/destemmer mechanically crushes then separates the grapes from the stems. The grapes fall from the bottom of the crusher and the stems come out of the end of the unit into a waste can. These units are motorized or can be operated manually with a crank. When figuring out what is a good fit for you, be sure to consider if you’ll have help on crush day. If you’re a lone crusher, the motorized version can crush and de-stem the grapes while you load the hopper. Whereas if you can recruit help from friends and family (folks always seem eager to help as they are interested by the process) you can save money and get the manual version instead (one person operates the crusher while the other loads the hopper.) Another thing to consider is crushing output. Motorized crushers have an output of an approximate 3000lbs (1360kg) per hour as opposed to the manual crusher which its output is as fast as you can crank it. This can be the difference between making short work of crushing or an all-day affair. A crusher/destemmer can be set up a few different ways: placed directly on top of the fermenter, on two saw horses over a tub or mounted on a stand made for the unit.

A less expensive option is a crusher only. The grapes and the stems are all collected in the receiving vessel. This is fine when processing small lots of grapes, but removing stems by hand will get old fast.

When all else fails, one last piece of equipment to crush grapes is just below you (your feet.) All I can say in regards to this is I Love Lucy Season 5, Episode 23.

Primary Fermenter: In my home winery, I use FDA-approved, food-grade plastic fermenters for maceration and fermentation of red wines. These come in sizes from 10 to 55 gallons (37 L- 208 L) and can be stacked inside each other when not in use. For white wines, fermentation takes place under lock and key. In this case you need a 5 gallon or 6 gallon carboy (19 L or 23 L), 15 gallon (56L) demijohn or even a variable capacity stainless steel tank. Remember to choose the correct size. Red wines in primary fermentation need room for cap rise and foaming from fermentation. According to Bob Peak, plan on needing 10-15 gallons of capacity for every 100 lbs. of crushed grapes (1-1.3 L/Kg.) You can ferment around 65 lbs. (29 Kg) in a 10-gallon (38 L) bucket, over 200 lbs. (91 Kg) in a 32 gallon (121 L) trashcan, and close to a ton (900 Kg) in a half ton bin. (The half-ton refers to weigh of whole clusters when it is used as a harvest bin.) For help in figuring out which fermenter is right for you, see “Choosing the Right Fermenter By: Bob Peak in the Aug/Sep 2012 issue of Winemaker Magazine.

A drill mounted stirrer: for mixing additives into the must.

Scale: for weighing your fruit. This is important for vineyard owners who keep yearly yield records, or you may want to confirm that you got the quantity you paid for from the distributor.

A must plunger: for punching the cap can be purchased online or built by attaching an oak wood-round to a 1” oak dowel rod. Otherwise you can roll up your sleeve and punch the cap down with your hand twice daily as the wine ferments. White wine needs stirred daily with a long handled spoon to re-suspend the lees to increase mouth feel and keep the yeast from getting buried. 

Pressing Equipment
 Pressing is simply putting the grapes under pressure to extract the juice. There are two different kinds of presses you can use:

Basket press:  A basket press is a tall wooden basket made of wood slats with spaces in between. The must is scooped into the basket while juice flows out of the press and into a collection bucket. Once the basket is full, wood blocks are placed over top of the grapes inside and a ratchet assembly is cranked down upon the wood blocks applying intense pressure to the grapes. There are all different sized presses making them affordable. Even if you have to buy a small one and fill it over and over to get the job done. The point is they are obtainable for virtually any wallet size.

Bladder Press:  A bladder press is the more efficient of the two, and makes short work of pressing day (especially if processing white wines where the crushing and pressing operations are performed in the same day.)  Unlike the wooded basket press, the bladder press has a stainless steel cage that is filled with must and a bladder is filled with water which expands, pressing the grapes from the center of the unit out.  There are a few models available to home winemakers all with a hefty price tag. But everyone I talk to swears by them and they do not regret the price they paid one bit.

                A scooper: for transferring grapes to the press, this can be a ½ gallon water pitcher or stainless steel pot.

                Food grade buckets: (at least two) with a strainer to catch wine coming out of the press.

                Funnel and strainer: when pouring wine into carboys or demijohns. The second strainer is another line of defense to prevent any solid matter getting into the vessel.

Carboys, demijohns, barrels or tanks are needed to store the wine in, and/or perform malolactic fermentation.

Food grade tubing for racking and/or pumps for transferring the wine around the winery.

For help in deciding which wine transfer method is right for you, see my article “Moving Wine With Pumps” in the Apr/May 2017 issue of Winemaker Magazine.

                Testing Equipment
 There are parameters that need to be tested in order to get the must into range for a healthy fermentation. Most grapes coming from distributors of California grapes are usually in range (i.e. they’ve reached an acceptable sugar level to be harvested.) But Mother Nature has her way and the must may need sugar added, acid increased or reduced, or even the pH adjusted. Below are tests the home winemaker should be able to perform to the get the must in line.

Hydrometer/ Refractometer: These instruments are to test the sugar level in wine. Because you only need a few drops for a test sample, the refractometer is a convenient and quick way to test levels in a must prior to fermentation. The hydrometer is used to monitor the progress once fermentation has started.

Acid Test kit: Acid levels are better adjusted prior to fermentation so any additions can be integrated into the wine over time.

pH Meter and Calibration Solutions: It’s said the pH is the most important parameter to be measured in wine. pH can affect a myriad of factors in the must; from sulfite effectiveness to color, even the wine’s ability to age. A pH meter can also double-duty as an acid tester too. This is a very valuable instrument to have in the home wine lab to say the least.  When the quality of your wine depends on these measurements it is easy to see why these are valuable instruments for all home wineries. Calibration solutions are needed to ensure you’re getting accurate measurements (4.0 & 7.0 calibration solutions.) NaOH 0.1N or 0.2N (Sodium Hydroxide) is needed to perform acid testing. 

Malolactic Chromatography Testing: If you’re planning to do malolactic fermentation (MLF) on your wine, the end of MLF will need to be determined for a stable product. This test is typically done after pressing and fermentation has completed. This test is sold in kits from various winemaking stores.

Journal: For every winemaking action, I write it down. Just like in medicine- if you don’t document it, it didn’t happen. Don’t rely on what the masking tape on your carboy says you did the last time; write it down in a journal. If you get good results, you can go back to those notes and do it again!

Digital Scale and calibration weight:  Forgo the use of teaspoons and tablespoons and get yourself an accurate digital scale. They can be had at a low price. When trying to be economical in buying a scale be sure to check the reviews so you get yourself a good quality unit.

Additive Stock List
Below is a list of additives for the must. Some are optional such as opti-red or booster rouge, but some are obviously needed such as yeast and sulfite. Ensure these are well stocked in your home winery. Nothing would be worse than having to run to the store on crush day, or even worse having to wait a few days for an online order to be delivered.

Yeast: Dry active yeast comes in 5 gram packets good for up to 6 gallons (23L) of must

Pro Tip: If you didn’t order enough yeast, a starter can be made.

-Hydrate the yeast with GoFerm as directed

-After the hydration period, add 50ml of strained must (juice only) per 5 grams of dry-yeast used.

-Allow the yeast slurry to ferment for at least an hour before adding another 50ml’s of juice.

-This can be repeated as needed to build up the yeast population; it also acclimates the yeast to the must temperature preventing shock.

- Once your starter is built up, ensure the temperatures of the yeast slurry and must are the within 18F of each other and stir it in.


Tannin (Tannin Ft Rouge)

Pectic Enzyme (Lallzyme )

Oak (Chips, Cubes, Dust)

Yeast Nutrient (Fermaid, Super Ferment)


Tartaric acid

Potassium Bicarbonate (Acid reduction)

Optional additives to build body and increase mouth feel



Booster Rouge

Booster Blanc

Post Fermentation additives including but not limited to:

Malolactic bacteria culture

Aging Tannin (Tannin Complex)

Fining agents: bentonite, Sparkolloid, gelatin, polyclar etc.

Cleaning and Equipment Check

As you wait for the grapes to come in, what is a winemaker to do? Oh yes, I almost forgot, cleaning! For those of you who own their crushers and presses, this is a great opportunity to inspect your equipment for defects to ensure everything is in working order. Check your glass carboys for cracks, check for scratches in your food-grade plastic fermenters and stainless steel tanks. Any equipment needing to be fixed should be addressed far enough away from crush to make sure spare parts aren’t on back order, and you get them in time and test out any repairs. Take your equipment apart and clean all the nooks and crannies. I’ll admit, by the time I’m done with my last crush of the year (I typically do around 6) I’m sick of cleaning the crusher, as a result grape debris may be left behind. This is a big reason to take the unit apart and really get in there!

A thorough cleaning is needed in the winery and crush area. Clean out cobwebs from the ceiling, mop the floor, clean all surfaces, and make sure mold hasn’t found its way into the cellar. A well cleaned and sanitized winery is paramount to winemaking success. There is a reason every wine maker says the most important aspect of winemaking is sanitization. Short-cuts should not be taken in this significant step in winemaking.
Let’s Get to Work
Crush: The day has come, the grapes are in, you’ve cleaned and inspected your little heart out and now you’re ready to rock this. Let’s go through a home crush followed up by pressing a week later.

- It’s best to set up shop the night before. Ready the crush pad, winery, lab table, and get everything organized. The next day all that is needed is a quick sanitization of equipment. A spray bottle full of sanitizer is very helpful in this scenario.

- The next day, once the grapes are ready to crush, it is important they be crushed immediately. Making the grapes wait too long to be crushed and allowing them to warm up could have a negative oxidative impact on the outcome of the wine; especially when making white wine. Just do what you can and do your best to keep the grapes cool.

-Gently dump the grapes onto the sorting table. The rule of thumb here is: If it’s not a grape or a stem, or if it’s a grape you wouldn't eat, discard it.  

-Move the sorted grapes off the table and into a tub to be moved to the crusher. You can either fill the hopper until it’s full and crush as you fill it, or fill several tubs of sorted grapes and crush them all at once. If you have help, sorting and crushing can be a pretty quick process.

-Run the grapes through the crusher/destemmer and into with your fermenter or collection tub.

-Once the crushing is done the must should be sulfited to 45-50ppm. Do not exceed 50ppm if malolactic fermentation is desired later in the process. When working with white grapes, sulfite should be added to the must as soon as possible to protect it from oxidation.  It may be beneficial to add sulfite to every 10 gallons of must coming out of the crusher. Otherwise, you can crush the whole lot and add sulfite then. The addition of ice bombs will also inhibit oxidation as the grapes are pressed the same day.   Just make sure the juice has reached ambient temperature before adding the yeast.

-Red wine the must can stay in the fermenter. For white wine, the must is immediately pressed for the juice unless a short-term cold soaking is desired.  When working with white grapes and crushing and pressing is done in the same day, be sure to plan ahead and allow yourself ample time to get the job done. Notify your help on when to arrive and how long it may take.

-The must is now tested for the sugar level, acid content, and pH adjustments are made as dictated by the style of wine you want to make. Fermentation is initiated and carried out as usual.

Pressing Day: Once the wine has reached 0 Brix or close to it, it’s time to press the grapes. In a perfect world, we would crush on Saturday and press the next Saturday. But in home winemaking nothing is perfect and things don’t always work out the way you planned. Maybe the fermentation temperatures were a bit high and you reached 0 brix by Thursday and you can’t press until Saturday. If needed, ice bombs can be added to the must to keep it around 45F (7C) and the must can be blanketed with CO2 or Argon and the fermenter lid replaced. Be sure to add ice bombs as needed, and blanket the must each time you open the lid. Since fermentation is over, protective CO2 is not being created by the yeast any longer. This is temporary and pressing should be carried out as soon as possible.

-Sanitize your press- including wooden half- circle caps and blocks, must scoopers, buckets, strainers and receiving vessels.

-Scoop the must into the press allowing the juice to run into the receiving bucket; do this until the press basket is full.

-Once you’re at capacity you can push down on the grapes with your hands to coax out a little more free run juice. Now place wooden half-circle caps over the grapes (basket press) and stack the wooden blocks to a height above the top of the basket. Thread the ratchet onto the press and spin it down to meet the blocks. Insert the ratchet keys and handle and crank the ratchet mechanism to apply pressure until the juice starts flowing, at this time stop cranking the press until the juice flow slows down or stops before applying more pressure.  Repeat this process until the grapes have been fully pressed. Free run and pressed run juice can be kept separate and blended later in the process. Taste often and stop if the wine gets too harsh or tannic.

-When using a basket press, I recommend dismantling the basket and breaking down the cake and then refilling the press once more with the just-pressed skins to ensure you get as much juice as you can. You can keep free-run and press-run wine separate and blend them to taste later in the wine making process.

-Similar to the basket press, you’d fill the basket of the bladder press until it is full. Screw on the lid and turn on your water and sit back and watch the magic happen. With both presses, refill the press as needed until your must has been pressed. For full instructions on using a bladder press, head to

-When filling your vessels, be sure to leave a few inches of head-space to compensate for any foaming from the last of fermentation.

-24-48 hours, rack off of the gross less and allow fermentation to finish. The vessel can be fully topped up at this point.
You have done it, bravo!

Make Something Great

Don’t let all the preparation and list of supplies and equipment intimidate you from getting a few lugs of grapes and creating something great. If you make mistakes, learn from them and improve upon the process for next year! Invite plenty of friends and family, set out snacks and past vintages. Encourage folks to bring their own wine and have a wine tasting the same day! It could be made into a party while delicious wine is being made. Good luck and have fun!

Here are online forums you can join to get advice for where to find grape distributors or You-pick vineyards near your hometown:, or Daniel Pambianchi’s winemaking Facebook group at

To help you get the most out of your crush day, I interviewed some pros for some more insight on how they handle their crush. For the full interviews, please head to the Pro Interview Page.

Marty Johnson is winemaker and cellar master at Hyatt Vineyards in Zillah, Washington. He is also Co-owner and Vigneron with his wife Ryan at Ruby Magdalena Vineyards located in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA in Washington, growing limited quantities of Tempranillo, Graciano and Grenache on 1 ¼ acres, producing 350 cases annually. Marty has earned a two-year certificate in Enology and Viticulture from the University of California at Davis, as well as the WSET level 2 award with distinction and the WSET level 3 award with merit from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust based in London, UK. 

To stay currrent with what Marty is Making now, please visit: 
Ruby Magdalena
Ruby Magdalena on Facebook
Hyatt Vineyards 
 1. In your opinion, what is the most important factor when planning your upcoming crush; cleanliness, fruit quality, help or all of the above? Cleanliness and organization are extremely important for safety and efficiency, but I think that the most important thing is communication. Cellar crew, crush team, growers, delivery carriers and especially volunteers should all be on the same page to prevent problems. Keeping everyone in the loop helps prevent surprises and lets everyone know that you care about the project and their parts in the whole procedure.
2. What are the pros and cons of buying vs. growing grapes; does either make crush easier than the other? Growing your own fruit allows you the most control of fruit quality and condition (as well as fruit varieties) but it also incurs its own added cost in money, time and space. Also, growing your own fruit will limit you to what grows well in your area and in your growing conditions. Locally grown fruit can often be purchased seasonally, and in many areas there are grape growers that will sell fruit in large and small quantities to those willing to pay for the service. Don’t however assume that a grower will change harvest and crush schedules to accommodate your schedule or sugar and acid parameters. Some will, but many are very busy with their own operations. Buying frozen or otherwise processed fruit opens up another whole world of grape varieties to you but at a greater cost. Using processed fruit allows you to make wine year round, which is a great idea if demand exceeds supply as friends discover your talents!
Daniel Wolfe hails from Edinboro PA. He has been a home winemaker for many years, before taking on his current role as associate winemaker at Presque Isle Wine Cellars 7 years ago in North East PA, which processes over 400 tons of grapes yearly. Daniel is passionate about winemaking and active in promoting winemaking education. He is a member of the American Wine Society and judges wine competitions locally and around the state. 
For more information on Presque Isle Winery please visit their website here
  1. Any tips or tricks you provide that may not be obvious when making a plan and getting the winery ready for the arrival of the grapes? First and foremost, don’t plan any major life events during harvest. Be ready to alter your plans on a moment’s notice, things often times do not go as planned. You want to make sure all of your equipment is ready in good working order and have enough help to handle the product when it comes in. Ensure you have all chemicals ordered and on site plenty of time ahead of harvest. Sample the grapes in the vineyard before they are harvested and again when they arrive.  
  2.What are the pros and cons of buying vs. growing grapes, does either make crush easier than the other? Winemaking begins in the vineyard. To make great wine you need to start off with great grapes. Owning a vineyard requires a lot of land, expensive equipment, chemical applications and a knowledgeable person and commitment to maintain it. Growing your own grapes gives you control of the vineyard ensuring everything is done to your standards. You also have a large cost savings growing your own. Additionally there is a risk factor if you’re hit with a deep freeze in the winter, frost in the spring or drought in the summer possibly wiping out your entire crop for the year. The grapes and weather determines when to harvest so owning a vineyard you have to be ready to pick and process in a hurry if bad inclement weather is predicted sometimes even if the grapes aren’t quite ready rather than risking losing the entire crop. Buying the grapes takes the risk factor out of the equation as you can always buy from another source if yours is not available. Buying direct also allows you to buy the exact amount you need and to refuse the product if it does not meet your expectations.

Zac Brown, is a long-time home winemaker and has been a guide for other aspiring winemakers. Zac is now the winemaker & proprietor of Alderlea Vineyards & Motovino Wines Inc. in Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Which produces 100% of their wine from their own vineyard. Grapes such as Pinot Noir, Marechel Foch, Cabernet Foch, Bacchus, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are being grown on 10 acres of land. 
For a better look at what Zac Brown is creating, please visit Their website and give them a like at  Alderlea on Facebook  


1. Do you have a checklist in place leading up to crush? Yes, I like to ensure that all the parts in my control are lined up before the grapes arrive on the crush pad. This means ordering all my yeasts, nutrients, enzymes, tannins, sulfite etc. early, July for a September crush.

The only thing I don't order in advance is malolactic bacteria, unless co-fermenting I like to get those cultures as close to harvest as I can. I also tend to order 25% more than I think I'll need. This is a holdover from home winemaking as sometimes I might spill some or some other crush day catastrophe, it also allowed me to take advantage of any unexpected fruit opportunities or have some on hand to help out a fellow home winemaker. I keep most supplies in sealed containers in a cool dark place or the freezer.
2. Do you try to stock replacement parts for most of your equipment? And, do you have a plan B in place in case of equipment failure?
Critical spares, like a drive belt for the crusher/destemmer, a spare bladder for the press, spare inflatable seals for Variable capacity tanks, and pump spares.
I would recommend testing your crusher/destemmer, press etc. a few weeks before crush. Make sure they work and all the parts are in place, you don't want to find out you lost your basket press pawls on press day. Clean everything very well, so at crush you can just give things a quick sanitizing and go.
one year, home winemaking, I had two tonnes of grapes in my driveway and my crusher wouldn't work because of a fried on off switch. Thankfully someone from a local wine club bailed me out by loaning their crusher. Networks with other wineries and home winemakers are important as they form your plan B. if you are remote and there is no winemaking community nearby, consider redundancies, i.e. if you upgrade from a basket press to a bladder press, keep the basket press as a back up.

3. How important is sorting the grapes before they reach the crusher?
It depends on your fruit sourcing and quality, if machine picked fruit, sorting becomes more important. Hand picked fruit will typically have less MOG and bad bunches and I don't usually need to sort that, its done in the field.
If you live in New York and are using California fruit which has been trucked and in storage, sort out any moldy bunches. As a rule the cleaner and fresher the fruit coming in is, the less sorting is required.
As a home winemaker I would intentionally source fruit from less weather extreme areas, in very hot areas you can get more raisined fruit which can give heavy flavors and also send your brix levels high once those raisins soak in the must. And fruit from very cool areas can have more mold, high acidity and green flavors. Sourcing from moderate climate areas, less sorting is needed.

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