Preparation of the mash for maceration by treading the grapes with bare feet to break up the berries for better extraction of the colouring substances and tannins. Even in ancient times, this was also an alternative to pressing, which is depicted in the tomb of the priest Chaemwese (1281-1225 BC) in ancient Egyptian Thebes. This is still common today in Portugal for the production of port wine in the shallow lagares (stone troughs), as well as in France, Spain(Rioja) and Italy. The tampers stand in a row with their arms hooked and march slowly back and forth in the trough for up to two hours. The human foot is strong enough to crush the grape berry, but not so hard and unyielding that the grape seed bursts open in the process. The bitter tannins contained in the seeds are undesirable.
For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien