At Villa del Monte Winery, we are excited about our Harvest Festival this weekend.  We will be open for tastings from noon to 5 pm on both October 6 and 7. Find us at 23076 Summit Road in Los Gatos.  Visit us and you’ll get to see our 2012 harvest in action as we will be crushing Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot tomorrow and pressing Santa Clara Valley Syrah on Sunday.  Visit Villa del Monte Winery on either day and our winemakers will be happy to tell you about these two distinct processes required to produce red wines. 

In case you absolutely positively need to know the difference and can’t wait for John or Neil to explain the process, here goes.  Red wine, for example Pinot and Syrah, gets its color and body from the grape skins and pulp through a two-step process:

  • Crushing grapesCrushing:  Crushing the grapes breaks up the skins and releases the juice.  This mixture of skins, seeds, pulp, and juice is called must.  After crushing, the must is put into fermenters to go through fermentation.  During fermentation, yeast converts sugar into alcohol and gases.
  • Pressing:  When fermentation is over, the must is put into the press.  Immediately, the free-run juice starts to flow and then pressure is applied to extract the rest of the juice.

Welcome harvest. Hope you can visit us this weekend!