Traditional Basket Presses work by pressing the pomace from the top of the holding basket down by using a heavy, cast iron, ratcheting mechanism. Basket presses are affordable and time-tested, but there are a few drawbacks. During pressing they develop a pocket of juice in the center of the basket which needs to be broken up and repressed to get all of the wine out. In addition, the pressing forces required by basket presses are usually much higher than for bladder presses. As a result, it is very easy to get harsh and aggressive characteristics from over pressing the seeds and skins. Finally, basket presses are difficult to sanitize and heavy to move around. In our own winery, Olin Wines, we stopped using a basket press the first time we used a bladder press. The ease of use, quality of the pressed wine (we no longer need to separate the free-run from the pressed wine), and no longer needing to re-pack the press to get all of the wine out made the decision to stop using the basket press very easy!
Basket presses are available as a special order and are ordered during our Annual PreSeason Sale.