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Crushing Grapes

The first grapes of this year’s crop are ripe now. They are mostly grape varieties suitable for eating. The vines earmarked for winemaking are in their last throes of maturing. Wine harvest will begin in a couple of weeks time in August for some white wine varieties. Grapes for red wines will be harvested at the end of August or the beginning of September.

The intriguing object shown here is an antique grape crusher as used in Mallorca in the past, let’s say, perhaps 130 years ago. Crushing gives a considerable amount of liberated or free-run juice that can be used for vinification. This free-run juice is said to be of a better quality than the juice obtained by pressing. Originally, crushing was done by treading with the feet. Grape treading can still be seen once a year in Binissalem at the occasion of the Festa des Vermar or Vendimia, in September.

The crushing with a device like the one shown today used to be a manual job. In our day and age, the crushing and pressing of the grapes is no longer done manually but mechanically, at least here in Mallorca.

The photo was taken in Ses Salines, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 1st, 2011. The time was 17:29:44.

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