Our wine making techniques are fairly traditional. When we recieve the grapes, usually 2 tons(4,000 lbs) at a time, they are fed into a crusher/ destemmer machine. The clusters recieve a slight crush and are removed from the stems which are pushed out of the end of the machine and the juice and the skins fall below into a bin. This is called must.
At this point, the white grape must gets immediately loaded into a hydro-press and just the juice is gently extracted. It is then pumped into a stainless steel tank where the temperature can be regulated and fermentation can be induced with an enoculation of a yeast culture pre-selected for that specific batch. It will remain in this tank, slowly fermenting, until the winemaker feels it is ready to be finished and bottled.
The red grapes, however, will remain in the bin for several days for maceration to get color extraction, and also tannins, to give the wine structure. It can also be inoculated at this time with a yeast culture. The amount of time on the skins as well as the particular strain of yeast used is determined by the winemaker. The red must is then pressed and the juice is put into french oak barrels for a period of about one year for maturation and aging, until the winemaker, once again, feels like it is ready to be finished and bottled.