On Monday, we processed the 7.9 tons of Brianna that was harvested on Sunday. Brianna is usually our first grape to be ready for harvest. In making our decision on when to harvest, we look for sugar levels in the fruit, how the fruit tastes, and how much acid is in the juice.

Processing the Brianna involves weighing the fruit in, running it through the destemmer-crusher, and then pumping it to the press where we separate the skins and seeds from the juice. The juice is pumped to a tank where we will allow the solids to settle to the bottom. Then we will rack the juice (move it to a second tank without the solids) and allow the temperature to rise before we add yeast to start the fermentation.

While this is taking place, we will get our next batch of Blackberry Wine ready for bottling and we will bottle this very popular wine on Wednesday.

Later in the week, we will be testing the sugar and acid on other white grapes like Edelweiss, La Crescent, LaCrosse, and St. Pepin.