We started with LaCrosse last weekend. Since the grapes were warm, we put them in a reefer trailer which we have rented for harvest again this year. The LaCrosse was chilled and then processed on Sunday. Because we have a lot of Edelweiss (17 acres), we harvested on Monday and Wednesday and processed the grapes the next day in each case.
Processing involves weighing the fruit and then loading it in the hopper-elevator which carries up to the inlet of the destemmer-crusher. The fruit flows through two soft rubber rollers where the skins are broken. Then, the skins, seeds, and juice (we call it “must”) are pumped into the press where the juice is separated from the skins and seeds. The juice is pumped into a tank in the cellar and the skins and seeds are moved to the mulch pad to be dried prior to being applied to the soil in the corn field.
We are hoping to harvest Marquette on Monday. But, everything is subject to having high enough sugar levels and low enough acidity.