The press pad, also called a crush pad, is the heart of the winemaking process. Valley of the moon Winery handles the grapes as gently as possible to preserve their freshness. White grapes are picked early in the morning - as early as sunrise so grapes arrive at the winery still temperately cool. Once the temperature becomes too warm, our pickers will either stop for the day or begin picking red grapes because the temperature for reds isn't as critical.

Near the press pad, arriving trucks are weighed on a scale as they bring grapes to the winery. Trucks drive up a ramp to the large stainless hopper. (A typical truck has 2 trailer bins and holds about 20 tons of grapes. Each bin holds approximately 2 tons.) A hoist is attached to each bin. As the bin is tilted forward from its position on the truck, grapes tumble into the hopper.

A large screw auger takes the grapes over to one of our two state-of-the-art German presses. Our Wilms TP25 presses can handle a large volume of grapes as the capacity of each press is 25,000 liters, or 6,000 gallons. And, each press can be individually adjusted to maximuze the whole cluster method we apply at Valley of the Moon Winery. Keeping the clusters intact allows us to produce the highest quality wine, with better color and more fruity flavors than wine from grapes that are crushed before pressing.

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