I recently received a bonus at work, so I decided to spend it on myself and bought a new crusher/destemmer (I'm doing my economy stimulus part)! I'm proud to introduce my latest baby--the Macchine Enologiche! This recent arrival to these shores sports 100% Italian craftsmanship, stainless steel hopper and working parts, and an electric motor to make short shift of those pesky grapes. No grape can stand up to its awesome crushing power--bwahahaha!
Sorry, I think I was channeling Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor there for a moment!
During the 2006 grape season, I used an antique crusher for my cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel grapes. I had bought it from the same folks that sold me a grape press. They used to run a winemaking store in Colorado and both the crusher and press were the store's equipment. Lots of good karma there. Unfortunately, the crusher did not have a destemmer, so I literally spent 4 hours bent over a bin full of 100 lbs of grape must, hand sifting out as many stems as I could. My back simply can't take that again. During the trip to New York to pick up some grapes, I made use of the vineyard's crusher/destemmer. These lovely devices crush the grapes and then sift out the stems before dropping the grape mush into your collection bin. What took me 4 hrs of back-numbing work before was done in 15 minutes, and the only sweat I worked up was in moving the collection bins into the back of my truck. Ever since then, I've been lusting after one of these beauties. With the upcoming Chilean season, and my recent bonus, I took the plunge! Now that it is in my basement, my first thought was "Wow, that's big!" Oh well, it will certainly make my life easier this spring and fall, and many subsequent years. It will keep my wife from getting bored while we hand destemmed. And it is large enough for a small winery, so let's call it an investment in the possible future!
Say hello to my new baby--the gleaming Macchine Enologiche! She needs a better name--something feminine in Italian. Perhaps Vinia (Latin for wine)? Other suggestions?
a Wine Student