A Bladder Press Blowout

In the book, A Wine Journey, four chapters recount experiences making wine at home and at wineries. One chapter looks at winemaking experiences at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Clarksville, Maryland. Here is an excerpt from the chapter about a bladder press.

“Traveling around the world and talking to hundreds of winemakers, we heard stories about presses that blew and splattered must all over people, floors, walls and ceilings. Many winemakers have been covered with wine during a blast. The day of pressing the blueberry must, began like the days we pressed the wine grapes. However, we filled several demijohns. Dave wanted to fill a two and a half-gallon carboy with blueberry wine to use for topping off the demijohns. The carboy was almost full when we heard a pop. A shower of blueberry pumice  and wine hit Rob and Terry, who were in the line of fire, as well as the sidewall and a bit of the ceiling. The blow out is an example of why one does not wear their Sunday best clothes to a winery to work. Rob definitely had the worst of the splatter. Terry, on the other hand, had to be at church in twenty minutes and decided that it would be a good idea to get cleaned up. Besides, even though he wore a hat, some of the pumice and wine managed to make its way to his hair and down his neck. Kathy was on the safe side of the bladder press with the camera, and took several photos between laughing.

Dave mentioned that it was only the fourth time in two years that the press had a blowout.  Terry did get cleaned up, and clothes were washed. His Detroit Tiger hat, although covered with blueberry wine, cleaned up well. In fact it is cleaner now than it had been in several years. We have heard comments from our children such as, “You need to wear a hazmat suit when pressing,” and “Making blueberry wine is a blast.” Since the blast, several winemakers stated that the bladder press blast was an initiation into winemaking. We wanted to experience as many things as we could during our wine journey. The bladder press blow out provided many opportunities for laughter.”


Watch for information about the publication date for A Wine Journey.

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