Do they still use their feet to press grapes in wine-making?

Do they still use their feet to press grapes in wine-making?

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The simple answer is no. While smashing grapes barefoot was common practice in Egypt many moons ago, the practice fell out of favour back in ye olde Medieval days. Now, only a handful of wineries across the globe continue to step on the fruit (treading if we are going to get technical) for the sake of tradition and to keep the tourists happy.

The good stuff you get poured or delivered these days begins its journey rather differently. Grapes are picked from the fields and carted off to be fed into specialised machinery – it’s far more hygienic, trust us.

How does it all work? The stash of about-to-be wine is loaded on to a destemmer to remove all the green stems that contain not so tasty bitter tannins. From there, the grapes are then moved onto a modern winepress which crushes the grapes and forces all the juice into a mesh cage which helps sieve out all the seeds and lumpy grape skins. It’s then all placed into a vat in which yeast is added to help kick-start the fermenting process.

To avoid all the overly complex science, the yeast basically draws out all the sugar in the grape juice and as a result, emits carbon dioxide and alcohol as a by-product. And voila, wine is born. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is filtered and aged to allow all the complex flavours to develop. Once ready, it’s all bottled (or in our case, canned) and labelled, ready to gulp in the park, on the train or simply in your back yard.


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