Wine News


The first white grapes have been harvested on Red Mountain.  Most vineyards still have grapes available in case you would like to order more.  Your vineyard focal will be asking you for payment soon, if not already.  Please consider taking a drive through some of the world’s premier wine country behind the wheel of a Penske truck, getting an inside look at the harvesting operation.  The club will reimburse rental and fuel, and you get to be first line for the new Zambelli Gamma 25 Must Pump / Destemmer.


The Destemmer is ready for use by trained club members.  It sits low to the ground, pumping out must through a three inch tube into your fermenter.  You will not be picking jacks and getting covered with sticky spray anymore.  100 lbs takes about 90 seconds.   Cleaning will be way easier because it opens like a clam shell and you can see almost every surface, and the three small areas you can’t see are clearly marked for your attention. Steve Foisie completely cleaned out the storage unit.  Please keep it clean by packing out your personal belongings and trash. 


Joe Mirowski, our Equipment Manager, has arranged for Steve to conduct an orientation to the Destemmer and the new generator on Sunday, September 9th at 3pm. It’s not difficult, but it’s definitely not the same as the old crushers.  We did keep one stainless crusher as backup and for small crushes, but the Destemmer will be the workhorse. If you are planning to crush grapes at SRS, please familiarize yourself with the Destemmer through this session or ask your vineyard focal or Joe Mirowski to help. We’re sorry about the football game.


The new SRS combo is available from your vineyard focal or from Joe Mirowski This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


This new Destemmer is a valuable item of shared club property that needs to be used responsibly.  Failure to observe the published procedure presents serious potential risks, including personal injury and loss of crush capability of club members.  Please get trained by someone who knows how this device works before operating it yourself.  If you haven’t been trained on the new Destemmer, or if crushing only 100 lbs or so, use the old stainless crusher.


Here’s the operating procedure:


Beginning procedure:


  1. Locate the generator approximately half-way between the club’s storage unit and the rolling gate. Use the red chocks provided to secure it from rolling.
  2. Locate the de-stemmer approximately 6’ from the storage unit and parallel to the building, with the must pump port facing downhill, towards the drain.
  3. Attach the extension cord between the de-stemmer and generator
  4. Open the de-stemmer by removing the two 10mm wing bolts on the motor-side of the hopper and open the clam-shell hopper until it is secured by the brace.
  5. Examine the de-stemmer screen making sure it is secure in place with an 8 mm wing bolt.
  6. Close the de-stemmer gently and secure it with the two wing bolts. (Verify that they are secure)
  7. Rinse the de-stemmer with water
  8. Rinse out the hose with clean water and attach it to the must pump port using a 3” gasket and tri-clamp. Protect the exit end of the hose by propping it up on the clean surface of an inverted lug.
  9. Mix sanitizing solution (1oz Star-San and water to the fill line in the white bucket provided).
  10. Generator. With the breaker switch off and the gas valve to on, START the generator
  11. Turn the generator breaker on and energize on the de-stemmer
  12. With the de-stemmer running, slowly pour approximately 1/3 of the sanitizing solution into the hopper, allowing the sanitizing solution to drain out of the hose.
  13. Turn off the de-stemmer
  14. Remove the hose, rinse with water, and protect both ends with plastic bags. 
  15. Connect the hose with the gasket and tri-clamp
  16. Place the asparagus lug under the stem exit port to collect stems.
  17. Turn on the de-stemmer and crush grapes.  Between personal batches, detach hose at the 3” coupler, and capture the contents, being careful not to misplace the gasket.

End of de-stemming, cleaning procedures

  1. Power wash the hopper and remove any debris from the exterior
  2. Remove the 2 wing bolts on motor side and open the de-stemmer.
  3. Remove the screen wing nut and remove the screen for cleaning.
  4. Remove the hose, returning the cleaned tri=clamp and 3” gasket to the parts board.
  5. Power wash the hose to remove any debris, rinse with sanitizer and place plastic bags over the ends for storage.
  6. Power wash the de-stemmer’s interior surfaces as well as the inverted channels that may hide debris.
  7. With the clam shell open, run the de-stemmer, power washing the auger and interior surfaces to expel all debris from the must pump
  8. When clean, run the de-stemmer, pouring sanitizer solution though the lower auger area.
  9. Install the clean de-stemming screen and secure it with the 8 mm wing nut.
  10. Close the de-stemmer, securing it with the wing bolts.
  11. Wipe sanitizer solution in the hopper and rinse with water.
  12. Lift the de-stemmer from stem exit port end approx. 1’ to drain remaining sanitizer solution from the must pump. Rinse the de-stemmer with water. Lift and drain again.
  13. Turn off the generator by turning off the gas valve to stave the engine of fuel. Turn off motor and breaker switches
  14. Detach and clean the extension cord
  15. Return all equipment to the storage unit