Wine Press

Wine Press Types for Making Wine

Wine making is an ancient art that has been practiced for thousands of years. To make wine, vintners use four different types of wine presses: basket press, horizontal screw press, bladder press and continuous screw press. This article examines each type of wine press used by vintners to make wine.

Basket Presses

The basket press dates back more than a thousand years. It was the first wine press used to extract the juices from fruit for the purpose of making wine. Though the oldest style of the four types of wine presses, the basket press is still commonly used by vintners today.

It consists of a large basket to hold the fruit and a metal plate to compress the fruit in the basket. Pressure is applied to the plate using either a screw type mechanism or hydraulic power. The basket is slatted to allow the juices pressed from the fruit to escape.

Horizontal Screw Presses

Horizontal screw presses are very similar in function to basket presses. The horizontal screw press squeezes the fruit between two horizontal metal plates while the basket press has a single metal plate that exerts pressure on the fruit from above.

Bladder Presses

The bladder press is composed of two cylindrical bladders placed one inside the other. The exterior bladder holds the fruit while the interior bladder expands and rotates to press the juices from the fruit. Holes in the exterior bladder allow the juices to escape.

Continuous Screw Presses

Unlike the other wine presses, the continuous screw press does not process a single batch of fruit at a time. Using a device called the Archimedes screw, it continually funnels fruit into the press at one end, extracts their juices and spits the spent fruit out of the other end of the wine press. The use of the continuous screw press is often reserved for making low quality table wines. In some countries, vintners are actually prohibited from using the continuous screw press for anything but these low quality wines.

All four of these wine presses use pressure to extract the juices from the fruit, but each has a different mechanism for accomplishing this task. Not all processes are equal in producing quality wine. Of the four, continuous screw presses are the least desirable for making quality wine.