|VINITECH 2004, The World Exhibition of Vines, Wines and Spirits Equipment and Technology took place from Tuesday 30 November to Friday 3 December at the Bordeaux-Lac Exhibition Centre, Bordeaux, France.
At a time when all the world’s wine-growing regions are seeking to give their vineyards a technical, marketing and image boost, the 2004 session of VINITECH, the international showcase for viticulture, winemaking and bottling, did more than ever to support the industry’s development.
The large gathering of grape growers (>50 000) showcased some 800 international exhibitions (representing more than a 1000 brands) which covered more than 65 000 m2.
Apart from the exhibition VINITECH, in addition to the Mondiavite colloquium, provided the opportunity for participants to exchange views with leading wine experts and scientists. The following are some of the topics that we rediscussed:
For a number of years VINITECH has been awarding prizes to the most innovative products, techniques and services in the vine and wine industry.
The chosen motto for the recent VINITECH was “great wines need great technology”. Against this background fifty-five of the sixty-three entries were accepted for the competition which was divided into the three categories: Viticulture; Vinification; Maturation, Bottling and Packaging and Services. Mr. Hebrard, Technology Advisor to VINITECH said, “Once again we are seeing a significant breakthrough in the improvement of mechanical and manual tasks, for example satellite-guided planting. There are also a number of projects focusing on advances in vinification, storage and maturation. In addition, suppliers of equipment and services seem increasingly to be taking into account the economic difficulties facing the industry. We are seeing fewer very expensive products and much simpler vineyard and winery management software”.
The panel of international experts singled out 14 of the most innovative businesses for the following awards:
- VINITECH d`Or award
- Silver awards
- Bronze awards
The three criteria used by the panel members were the degree of innovation; improvement in the quality of wines and spirits and environmental protection.
Technical cork manufactured using Diamond process-treated cork
Diamond process: the molecules that cause cork taint (haloanisoles) are selectively extracted from the raw cork particles used in technical corks using a supercritical CO2 process. Corks undergoing this treatment no longer cause those organoleptic deviations associated with “cork taint”. The process means that operators will be consistently using haloanisole-free corks – technical features and water tightness remain unaffected by the process. This cork treatment will enhance consumer enjoyment of quality wines, as they will be free from cork taint.
Flame weeder with variable propane gas burner in aqueous phase
Faced with the problems linked to the use of certain chemical weed-killers, the Jaulent flame weeder is a true innovation with its new gas phase burner.
This burner, with its particularly innovative design and appearance, was conceived and developed by Jaulent. It maintains the required working circumference while providing a constant level of heat. Upward heat scorch of the leafage is negligible – in fact you can even rest your hand on the outer cover while working.
Emphasis has been placed on ease of use: the driver controls the work from a console with an integrated programmable processor, and changing the propane bottles is easily done when the equipment is resting on the ground, which makes this process far more user-friendly.
This machine is highly versatile, as the directable burners can also be used for flame vine pruning.
PORTERET BEAULIEU INDUSTRIE SA
Precoat sheets for Kieselguhr filters and body feed sheets (DREPS)
When used in the wine filtering process, diatom powders release dust which is a health hazard. Fine powders rich in crystalline silica have significant silicosis and carcinogenic potential.
During pre-coating, the CEL 15B and 15S sheets are used to make up the diatom filter pre-coatings (Kieselguhr). The sheets are first broken into small pieces before being dissolved in the mixing tank. They are composed of a mix of cellulose and diatoms (burnt or unburnt) and polyethylene (in the case of CEL 15S). These sheets do not produce airborne dust, so operators are not at risk of breathing in particulates.
Sulphur doser with integrated ullage system
This device developed by a wine-grower who also tested it, noticeably improves working with wines in casks (filling, ullaging, sulphuring) thanks to an excess SO2 tester-sensor. The tester prevents overflow while the sensor purges SO2 (by water bubbling, for example). Working conditions are noticeably improved, particularly by eliminating the inhalation of SO2 vapours. This equipment will be of interest to users of unracked casks.
Euro/VA CUUM rotary vacuum capper
This is an automatic rotary capper for the vacuum crimping of metal screw-caps. This innovative vacuum or neutral gas injection capper used for bottles with metal screw-caps is a world first. This system generates a vacuum or injects gas into the bottle, thereby eliminating any oxygen in the headspace and preventing wine oxidation.
MICHAEL PAETZOLD SA
Service provided by the THERMOFLASH process
The Thermoflash process is a heat treatment process for musts and wines, based on the principles of flash pasteurisation, by subjecting the product, and any micro-organisms it contains, to a specific temperature for a set period of time.
This treatment is ideal for the preventive or curative management of the microbiological flora in wines. It can be applied during different stages of the winemaking or cultivation process and on different types of wines; it also contributes to preventing microbiological alterations. Paetzold offers this process as one of its services.
The Pellenc LiXion electronic shears are a logical development of the P 2000. A major step forward for this type of equipment which, for the first time, pioneers Lithium-Ion battery technology.
These new batteries offer a significant reduction in weight: 1750 grams, thereby making the task in hand much easier. Furthermore, autonomy is increased and, in certain cases, the shears can be used for two days before requiring recharge. An indicator continuously displays the remaining charge helping to avoid any nasty surprises!
This model offers increased power (over 30%) together with a 760 gram weight reduction and reduced diameter to give you better grip.
It is also worth mentioning a new system that is currently in place to adjust the blade and reduce the head size, thereby facilitating penetration of the stem.
VASLIN BUCHER SA
This method of pressing under neutral inert gas has long been recognised, but the recycling side has not been high on the agenda for wine press manufacturers. The continuous two-way connection between the wine press and the neutral gas tank leads to reduced gas consumption at a ratio of 20:1. Hence a cost advantage over previous systems, plus a more pleasant working environment for personnel and a marked improvement in product quality compared with unprotected processes.
Grape and grape-cake pump with shaker grate
The company Agrifoy offers a new system of protection for the feed screw of the helical rotor grape pumps. It comes in the form of a shaker grate installed on the pump hopper. The shaking motion facilitates the passage of the grape or grape-cake through the grate. This shaking motion of the grate is powered by the pump’s variable motor and a sprocket wheel assembly. This process increases operator safety.
The Acolyte 150 tool carrier
This high-clearance tractor-drawn tool carrier is designed for the assembly and application of inter-vine tools used on wide vines. It is ideal for wine-growers who wish to tend to the ground beneath the rows with inter-vine tools. It can be used on vines of different widths with no further adjustment. Furthermore, as the tools remain parallel with the rows, work is all the more efficient. The Acolyte 150 can also be adapted to take other tools.
This device subjects the grapes to successive temperatures to extract their maximum quality. The design saves energy in comparison to other systems and is particularly useful for grape skin maceration. Models range from 5 to 15 tonnes /hour.
Automated vine tying machine for vine lifting
This separates the functions of lifting the leafage, capturing and lifting the wires or strings and finally fastening with clips specially designed to withstand the many mechanical stresses they will be subjected to during their lifetime. This system is designed to be able to deploy either wires or strings unrolled by the machine. This is the result of a major technical design project at TORDABLE, to better position the leafage before training the vines to minimise damage during lifting and fastening; and all this with better comfort and efficiency of the machine driver in mind.
Rubber-coated thumb nut
This new stainless steel thumb nut is used for joints common to the wine industry and is coated in EPDM rubber. It insulates the metal to cushion it against damage when accidentally dropped. This development improves the ergonomics of existing joints (removing the need for a screw wrench) and reduces the risk of burns caused by hot fluid running through pipework (rubber insulation).
This nut is for use on SMS joints with pipe crimping in order to offer the most secure and hygienic assembly possible.
WAGNER PFLANZEN TECHNIK GMBH
Satellite-controlled planting machine
This planting machine is guided by a D-GPS system (GPS satellite navigation system in differential mode with a reported precision of +/- 1 cm). This navigation method simplifies planting operations and enables work on site to be completed more rapidly than with laser-guided systems. It also facilitates planting on hilly ground and aligning young vines in rows and between rows (block planting, staggered planting, etc). Automatic generation of a planting plan can also be managed with geo-referencing of rows and even the young vines themselves.