How to Make Your Own Grape Press for Wine

Written by kyle fiechter
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How to Make Your Own Grape Press for Wine
Home-pressed grapes can yield a very high-quality wine. (grapes and light grape wine image by Maria Brzostowska from

Commercial grape presses can be an expensive option for novice wine makers. Great wine can be made from a homemade press, though this non-mechanical method will take significantly more effort on your behalf. You will essentially be crushing the grapes to separate the juice from the grapes, resulting in a juice winemakers refer to as "free-run;" this creates a higher quality, less bitter wine.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bucket or barrel
  • Drill or kitchen strainer
  • Large wooden post or hand tamper

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  1. 1

    Purchase two five-gallon buckets from your local hardware store.

  2. 2

    Drill small holes in the bottom of one of the buckets. Place the bucket with holes in the second bucket, so that the liberated grape juice will drain into the second bucket. The bucket with holes will act as a strainer and release the juice into the second bucket.

  3. 3

    Purchase a 4-inch by 4-inch piece of wood or a 6- to 8-inch square hand tamper from your local hardware store. If using a piece of scrap wood, sterilise the wood over a fire for a few minutes, keeping the wood far enough away from the fire so it does not become charred.

  4. 4

    Fill the bucket with a few inches of grapes. Press the grapes with the wood or hand tamp until most of the juice is liberated from the grapes. Remove the bucket with holes from the bottom bucket. Empty the bucket containing juice into a juice container; then reposition the buckets and repeat the process.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use one bucket, without holes, then strain the pressed grapes through a kitchen strainer.

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