What is the Crush


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

the crush
the crush
The crush begins with picking the grapes

The Crush

The Crush is on in the Napa Valley, Sonoma, and all around the Northern Hemisphere of wine country. It is the most exciting time in the wine country. So, what is the Crush? The Crush begins when the grapes are picked by an amazing group of field workers. They move swiftly and skillfully, cutting the grape clusters from the vines and dropping the grapes into their baskets. From there the baskets are dumped into larger bins, usually half-ton plastic bins. When the larger bins are full, they are quickly delivered to the wine cellar. In the wine cellar they can be sorted, de-stemmed, and sent to the crusher. For red wines, the skins and the grape juice stay together. The grapes are placed into fermenting tanks. Fementation takes place when the yeast cells begin to feast on the sugar component of the grape juice. Fermentation gives off two by-products, CO2 and alcohol. When the yeast has consumed all the sugar, fermentation ends. The juice is pumped from the fermenting tanks into oak barrels for aging. At this point, the Crush is complete and it is time to age and nurture the wine. Late August, September and October is when most of the Crush takes place in the wine country in all of California, Washington, and Oregon.

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  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.