What is free-run wine?
Free-run wine is wine made without being pressed.
At Silver Coyote, all our wines are 100% free-run. Free run wine is much smoother with lower tannins than pressed wine. Many of our
guests say they have never had any wine like it.
Selling free run wine is not economical for most wineries, which is why you
rarely see it offered. Pressing grapes either before or after fermentation, yields up to 30% more wine than just using the free run portion of the fermentation. If you ferment 1000 gallons of wine, pressing could add
an additional 300 gallons, or 1500 bottles.
We make exclusively free run at Silver Coyote Estates because it is what we like to drink. We founded our winery with the express purpose of making
the free run wine we were unable to find on the market.
Our wine is only available at our estate winery in Monroe, Oregon. We look
forward to sharing the free run wine experience with you.
We have described the wine making process below if you are not familiar with the process commercial wineries use to make wine.
Our estate-grown grapes are picked at the absolute peak of ripeness.
The grapes are moved from the vineyard to the crush pad, where the stems are removed and the grapes are very lightly crushed. The crushed grapes, called "must" are placed in large fermenters and specific wine yeast is added. If you let the grapes ferment with the natural yeast present on the grapes, it is called a "spontaneous fermentation." This does create wine, but often with very unpleasant flavors.
When the sugar has converted to alcohol and the fermentation is complete, the wine (minus the seeds and skins) is moved to large tanks to settle. The first wine that is removed from the fermentation tanks is
free-run wine, or wine that has not yet been pressed. At Silver Coyote Estates Winery, this is where we stop, age, and bottle our wine. This is the cream off the top of the fermentation.
Most wineries take what is left (skins and seeds) after the free-run juice is removed, and press it. Large wineries use an efficient hydraulic press, and smaller wineries use basket-style presses or "bladder" presses that use water. The resulting wine is much stronger and more astringent than the free-run wine. This pressed wine is added back to the free-run in varying amounts, depending on the winemaker's style.
We hope this explanation helps. If you have any other questions about the wine-making process, feel free to ask.