Harvesting grapes is a tradition that is as old as mankind. Grapes are used for many different things but the most popular are wine and jelly. The harvest is usually early fall but there are some grapes that will mature late fall. The late fall grapes tend to make some of the best and sweetest wine.
Picking grapes is a tedious process where grapes are picked in bunches and handled carefully to avoid bruising. Most pickers have buckets and scissors that are used to cut grape bunches off the vine. After the grapes are picked they are often taken to a pressing area where they will be processed for their destination.
When grapes are pressed they are placed into a presser that takes the grapes and smashes them into small pieces. In years passed this method was done by workers using their bare feet to stomp the grapes to extract the juice. Some places in the world still use this old tradition but for sanitary reasons most places now use a grape presser to extract the pulp and the juice Workers will line the bottom of a grape press with sackcloth to make sure they get all of the juice extracted without all of the seeds and pulp getting into the juice.
There are many different types of grape pressers but they all achieve the same thing. The ultimate goal of pressing is to get as much of the juice out of the grapes as possible.
Juiced grapes are very similar to those that are pressed. The home winemaker probably will not own a very elaborate grape press because of the expense involved. The press is usually found in wineries where large quantities of grapes are pressed. The home juicer may use something as simple as a potato masher to get the juice out of the grapes. There are also home pressers that will extract the juice and leave the pulp, seeds, and skin behind. These are usually cranked by hand and can become quite tedious if there is a large quantity of grapes to be juiced. It is a great way for the home winemaker to get the most juice out of the grapes.
Pressing grapes at home will allow you to get the full benefit of the pressed juice without all of the additives that come in a kit. Kits are a great way for somebody to get started and learn what they are doing but kits are rarely natural and have additives and preservatives that are not found in juiced grapes at home. When you juice your own grapes you have complete control of the ingredients you put into the juice.
Winemaking is a fun hobby and offers some great benefits for the home winemaker. By making your wine at home you will have a healthy alternative to the processed wines that are found in stores. Most people also agree that wine made at home just tastes better than wine bought from a vendor.