20 November 2016

Meschendorf Wine Press

Sheltered press, 1864, Meșendorf, Brașov County

Part of Bunești township alongside the villages of Criț, Roades, Bunești and Viscri, Meșendorf village rests on the north-eastern end of Brașov County, 95 kilometers from Brașov and 30 kilometers from Sighișoara. The settlement is set in the Rupea area of Țara Bârsei, a hilly region abundant in meadows, pastures and forests.

The sheltered wine press, also called a Kelter by local Saxons, was used to smash grapes and was transferred to „Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum in 1991. Built in 1864 as an extension to a local dwelling, it was a public access construction. To this day, the wine press still retains the trademark qualities Saxon buildings where recognized for.

The shelter is supported by four pillars and the year of construction – 1864 – is carved on one of the side girders. Covered with native tile locals referred to as „scaled”, the roof features a steep slope that facilitates the swift draining of rain water and snow. The actual wine press is man-powered and is operated using a lever. The main components we can refer to are the shaft, the split girder, the screw, the basket and the fixture supporting the girder. The basket is where the grapes are pressed and is constructed in hewn timber. A single load-full of grapes could yield as much as 300 liters of must which would subsequently turn to wine through fermentation.