You deliver your grapes to our Kenwood, CA location in macro-bins or 2.5 ton valley bins to begin the process.
Heating the Must
The destemmed fruit is stored in a holding tank then sent through a heat exchanger at roughly six tons per hour. The temperature of the must will achieve 200 degrees in the 90 seconds it takes to pass through the heater. During this heating process, problematic bacteria, yeasts, and proteins such as brettanocyces, acetobacer, and laccase caused by rot or mildew are eliminated or denatured, leaving the juice virtually sterile.
The hot material is then delivered to a vacuum tank where it is immediately flashed. The cell walls are ruptured allowing 100% of the anthocyanins and skin tannins to be released and stabilized.
The vacuum process will create steam that is removed through condensation, cooling the must down to 85 degrees and pulling out flash water containing off-flavors. In the process, 3-5% of the volume is removed. This loss of water will increase the sugar content in the juice, concentrating the flavors, and creating a thicker, more complex wine.
Flash water removed from your must in the process contains the least desirable flavors such as the methoxypyrazine vegetal flavors, ashy or smoke taint, or moldy rot notes.
Your Flash Juice is Ready
A full truck load of 24 tons takes approximately six hours to process and is ready to load into your waiting tanker. You may also opt to leave your must with FWT to macerate overnight and be pressed the following morning. Receive your juice and ferment in tank as juice only, add to other ferments, add to a drained cap, or go straight to barrels.