“A world of exchange in a changing world”

VINITECH 2006, The World Exhibition of Vines, Wines and Spirits Equipment and Technology takes place from Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 November at the Bordeaux-Lac Exhibition Centre, Bordeaux, France.

Since it was founded in 1977 VINITECH has steadily grown to become what is today the key exhibition for all professionals in the viticulture and wine-making sector, presenting a comprehensive offer of techniques, technological advantages and equipment and services for vine-growing, wine-making and bottling. VINITECH`s high profile also derives from the quality of high-level scientific colloquia en technical talks.

The following trends emerged at VINITECH 2006:

  • In vineyard management heavy machinery is quieter, but environmental protection is the hot topic. A number of entries confirm this strong trend, presenting solutions for localising and reducing weed control, trace ability, using imaging techniques to view and estimate grape volumes, handling pesticide waste and cellar effluent.
  • In wine production, numerous technological advances and quality solutions are now available, addressing areas as diverse as grape harvest transportation (vibrating trailer bodies), automatic grape harvest sorting using various advanced systems, seed removal and cap immersion.
  • In the cellar, the emergence of an array of techniques such as micro-oxygenation allows for rigorous automatic monitoring and control. Computerised vat monitoring and regulation and automated control technology are more flexible and offer greater scope with the mobile equipment now being designed.
  • In oenology, there are some very interesting proposals for yeast protection and tartaric stabilisation. The sector can be proud of its ability to offer vegetable proteins as an alternative to the now much maligned animal proteins. Also note the emergence of software applications to help with the use of wine-making products, designed to optimise production costs.
  • In bottling, there are considerable improvements in bottle rinsing and sterilisation, deoxygenating of the neck and batch bottling with vertical support, showing that the sector has opted to bring quality to the entire wine process to guarantee a faultless product.
  • In wine presentation, things have changed for all producers with the emergence of combined web marketing and business management software applications reducing problems of inconsistency. The sector now takes into account attractive, customisable forms of packaging other than the traditional bottle earlier on in the process. Marketing is no longer the preserve of the service sector!
  • For a number of years VINITECH has been awarding prizes to the most innovative products, techniques and services in the vine and wine industry.
Wynboer - December 2006 - Vinitech 2006 in Bordeaux

The panel of international experts singled out 9 trophy winners and 10 commendations for the following 2006 awards:

Gold Awards

LAFFORT OENOLOGIE

Mannostab: a new tartaric stabilisation method

Mannostab, the product of research in wine maturation, is a mannoprotein preparation obtained industrially by enzymatic digestion of yeast cell walls.

When the appropriate quantity is added to the wine, Mannostab inhibits tartaric precipitation by preventing crystal formation and growth.

Mannostab replaces traditional stabilisation methods, including cold stabilisation and the use of met tartaric acid, as well as the more recent electro dialysis. The product’s effectiveness in preventing tartaric precipitation has been measured for more than 40 months.

The dose, determined for each wine by laboratory testing, depends on the level of tartaric instability and the colloidal state of the wine. It is generally between 10 and 30 g/hl.

The product is added to the wine according to a precise procedure, just before the final stage of filtration prior to bottling.

Mannostab is a natural product that has no effect on the physical, chemical and sensory properties of the wine, offering a perfect solution to the problems of tartaric precipitation.
Silver Awards

AROL HEXAGONE

Headspace deoxygenation system and corker

The system consists of a corker preceded by a rotary carousel that injects nitrogen into the headspace to replace the air present. The two turrets are placed in an airtight chamber inside which the oxygen concentration is kept at a constant level below its concentration in the air.

Comparative corking tests were carried out on a working machine using several different scenarios:

chamber filled with ambient air; chamber saturated with nitrogen; corking with inserting of the neck and chamber filled with ambient air; corking with inserting of the neck, chamber saturated with nitrogen and residual oxygen at 6% or 3,5%. After homogenisation, the amount of dissolved oxygen was measured and the total oxygen concentration in each bottle calculated.

The tests revealed the most effective scenario to be corking associated with inserting of the neck in a chamber saturated with nitrogen and residual oxygen at 3,5%, when the average quantity of oxygen per bottle was a tenth of that resulting from an operation performed in ambient air.

This system, which protects the wine during bottling, is a market first.

SFERIS & OENODEV

Automatic control of micro-oxygenation by continuous measurement of dissolved oxygen

Oenodev and Sferis have teamed up to develop an innovative micro-oxygenation control system based on continuous measurement of dissolved oxygen by means of the new LDO sensors which work on the principle of luminescence. The system is accurate to approximately 0,01 mg/l.

The technique uses a combination of micro-oxygenations, sensors and a computerised control unit. For each tank, a micro-oxygenator and a sensor are connected to a single control unit. Depending on the values measured and the set point, the computer will indicate the volume of oxygen to be added if necessary. It is possible to manage between 6 and 60 tanks.

This new system offers better control of micro-oxygenation, which plays a role in tailoring wines to the market, and breaks new ground in enological practice.

VITAREA

SATPLAN & AVIDOR HIGHTECH

Integrated system for optimising herbicide application as part of a technical and economic approach to vineyard management

This system consists of a set of hardware and software tools (developed by several different companies) for localised herbicide application with full trace ability (product doses and mapping of treated and untreated areas).

The aim is to considerably reduce the amount of herbicide used by means of localised treatment. Thanks to the “Green Seeker” sensor, only areas genuinely overrun with weeds need to be treated, less herbicide is used and full trace ability of the applications carried out is guaranteed.

This system should also help to keep the vines free of grass and weeds (important in areas like Champagne where there is a risk of frost), and allow for precise treatment in cases where tillage or hoeing is not possible (for example when the ground is bark-mulched to limit erosion on sloping vineyards).

These tools address the need to reduce inputs and increase treatment tractability.
Bronze Awards

LALLEMAND SAS

NATSTEPTM yeast protector

Designed and developed jointly by Lallemand and the French agricultural research institute INRA, NATSTEPTM is a preparation that protects and optimises winemaking yeast prior to use. This patented, entirely natural technique protects the yeast during the dehydration phase thanks to a formulation composed of specific micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, sterols and polyunsaturated fatty acids).

When incorporated into the grape must, yeast dehydrated using this technique works more efficiently because the sterols have the effect of strengthening the membrane. The increased strength makes the yeast a more effective catalyst for alcoholic fermentation in difficult conditions – for example in the case of a very late harvest, highly clarified must, etc. – with no risk of organoleptic deviation.

NATSTEPTM is a timesaving preparation that is simplicity itself to implement.

MICHAEL PAETZOLD

Bottling unit

The originality of this wine-bottle rinsing, draining, filling and corking unit lies in the fact that it operates linearly on a row of bottles rather than one bottle at a time.

The core of the system is a belt-type platform carrying a number of trays capable of holding one or more rows of bottles. The trays move linearly. The steps of loading, rinsing, filling, corking and unloading are performed each time a tray stops. Some operations are carried out with the bottles upright (tray on the topside of the platform) and others with the bottles upside down (trays on the underside of the platform). Two linear robots load the empty bottles and unload the full ones.

Among the unit’s interesting features are its low-impact vertical transport action and vertical palettisation system, which means that the filled bottles can be left upright for as long as required to allow the corks to expand.

SOCMA

VINICLEAN: automatic sorting machine

Viniclean is an original mechanical sorting machine offering an alternative to manual sorting. It consists of a vibrating hopper, rotating plastic toothed discs and a worm screw waste removal system.

As the grapes emerge from the vibrating hopper, the teeth on the rotating discs carry the waste material upwards while the berries pass between the discs. This system removes more than 90% of the waste material with a loss ratio of less than 2%.

The machine is designed for maximum clean ability and can be dismantled and reassembled in less than two minutes.

STHIK SAS

Harvesting trailer body with vibrating outlet

To enhance its innovative range of harvesting trailers offering asymmetric bin design, safe, robust lifting and tipping systems and avoidance of screw or pump evacuation to preserve grape quality, Sthik has developed a trailer body with a vibrating outlet.

A system of eccentric weights driven by mains electric motor sets up a vibration that ensures slow, steady evacuation of both manually and mechanically harvested grapes. The juice drains through a grid into a collection bin.

The grapes can be fed directly into a crusher-destemmer, sorting table or press.

This quality, robust equipment, tried and tested through several grape-harvesting seasons, offers a guarantee of safety and convenience for winegrowers keen to invest in optimising both the quality of their product and the winemaking process from the vine to the cellar.

VAUCHER – BEGUET

MISTRAL 140: automatic grape sorting system

The Mistral 140 is an original post-destemmer system for automatically separating herbaceous matter from the grape berries with a throughput of 7-11 tonnes per hour.

The equipment consists of a vibrating acceleration table, a sorting system using a stream of air and a system for collecting the sorted product and waste.

A grid pre-sorts the harvest to eliminate coarse matter (stalk fragments, leaf stalks, leaves, etc.). The grapes then fall off the end of the table into a stream of air, the force and direction of which are adjustable. The sorted material is collected in three separate bins, one for whole berries, a second for split berries and a third for waste. The sorting quality and loss ratio settings are user-adjustable (80-95% and 2-5% respectively).
Commendations

AGRO ENVIRONNEMENT

Vitimax: pesticide effluent treatment system

Agro-Environnement specialises in effluent treatment, and its product range includes a winery effluent treatment plant available since 1998. New regulations due to come into force after more than 3 years at the discussion stage will require stricter management of the waste associated with the use of pesticides (leftover spray mixture, water used to wash the sprayer and rinse out containers, etc.).

The system works as follows:

Pre-treatment by coagulation/flocculation
Four-step treatment:

  • Storage (which enables the water to be fed into the treatment process at a steady rate)
  • Biological treatment (using bacteria)
  • Decantation
  • Refining (filtration)
  • Solid matter produced by the flocculation process and filtration media is classed as hazardous waste and must be disposed of through specialist channels. The supernatant and sludge resulting from the treatment process may be spread on farmland, though in the case of sludge a spreading plan must be provided and there are distance and frequency requirements to be observed.

The specific characteristic of this system is that it can also be used to treat winery effluent; the same facility can therefore serve two purposes (provided both effluent sources are not treated simultaneously, which can affect performance). In the case of existing facilities, there are clear cost advantages to using the equipment for both purposes.

AMOS DISTRIBUTION

Removable cap immersion system for red wine fermentation tanks

This is a new, removable cap immersion system for red wine fermentation tanks. The device is positioned on the tank by means of a power-lift truck or a winch and enables cap immersion to be performed on one or more tanks including those difficult to access. This system is more economical than fitting rails over the tanks.

The equipment incorporates a Speidel cap immersion device consisting of rotating rods fitted with paddles driven by a pneumatic jack outside the tank. This is mounted on a circular stainless steel platform that can be grabbed by a power lift truck. The platform is quickly fixed to the tank by means of snap-fasteners. A programmable controller manages the cap immersion process. The system is available in three diameters: 120, 140 and 160 mm.

COSTRAL

GALAXY: combined rinsing, sterilisation and bottling unit

The unit is a compact, integrated machine comprising a rinsing module, a filling module and a corking module, which can be fitted with three different corking systems.

The originality of this unit lies in the construction and cycle of the rinsing module, which operates sequentially describing a rectangular path unlike the continuous circular path usual for this type of equipment.

Because the rinsing module operates sequentially, static injectors replace the usual central fluid reservoir that self-empty when the module comes to a stop, which makes it suitable for sterilising. The bottles are turned upside-down as they enter the rinsing module, allowing the injection of liquid or gas for rinsing with water or wine, sterilisation or gas flushing. On exit from the rinsing module, the bottles are turned the right way up, ring uppermost. The rectangular construction allows rinsing with two different products, which can be collected separately for subsequent recycling.

GD INDUSTRIES

Self-draining combination tank with pre-fermentation seed removal

The upper section of the tank consists of a self-draining compartment for red wine vinification equipped with a circular door and an off-centre cone that allows the pips to collect near the drain.

It also incorporates a flexible rotor pump and aeration tube for remontage and a GD-Industries Integral Diffuser, which ensures even sprinkling of the wine over the cap. Stainless steel cables are arranged in the cap to break it up more easily during delestage (when the fermenting juice is removed to a separate tank before being sprinkled on top of the cap).

The top section of the tank also contains a peripheral injector system, which injects juice to guide the pips towards the drain so making the pip removal process, if carried out, more efficient.

The lower section consists of a scoop-bottomed conical tank that can be used as a buffer tank during delestage, a fermentation tank or a still wine storage tank.

The self-draining combination tank automates and optimises certain red wine vinification operations, including controlled remontage, delestage with breaking up of the cap, pre-fermentation seed removal, sprinkling of the juice on top of the cap by means of the Integral Diffuser, and controlled cap evacuation.

The main advantage of this equipment lies in its versatility and the fact that it enables seed removal.

ISAGRI

ISASITE: the web-based solution for opening your 24-hour cellar

Isasite is a plug-in to the sales management application Isavigne, providing a simple solution to help winegrowers create their own website to publicise their vineyard, products, special offers and so on.

Because it is part of the Isavigne package, there is a direct, automatic link between the management function and the website. Any changes made in Isavigne will automatically appear on the website, which should ensure that the information on the website (prices, availability, special offers, etc.) is always up to date and consistent with that entered in the sales application.

This new module avoids having to call on an outside supplier to design a custom website and reduces the cost of updating content that changes on a regular basis (prices, wine and packaging catalogues, etc.)

LAMOUROUX SAS

New temperature control cabinet concept

This new temperature control cabinet complies with the new EC RoHS Directive (in particular through the absence of lead in the welds) and enables the user to regulate tank temperature from anywhere in the winery thanks to a mobile Pocket PC interface.

Using a Pocket PC with a wireless link as a second-user interface, the user can display the temperature status of the tanks during fermentation and change the set points either from the office where the control cabinet is located or standing next to the tank, i.e. without having to return to the office.

MARTIN VIALATTE

LYSOCLUB: winemaking product support software for use with Bactolyse-Lysozyme

Bactolyse-Lysozyme is a winemaking preservative that acts on lactic bacteria. Its use requires a certain degree of technical understanding and because it is new on the market users is as yet unfamiliar with it. It is also fairly expensive and mistakes can be costly.

Enter Lysoclub, a straightforward, user-friendly software application that performs simulations (9 preventive and 3 curative) according to the development stage of the must or wine, its PH and percentage of alcohol. This results in accurate calculation of the appropriate dose, which is of considerable benefit to both winemakers and oenologists.

SODIMEL

System for estimating the volume of grape bunches on the vine using digital photography

This digital imaging system enables winegrowers to predict vineyard yield by estimating the volume of grape bunches growing on the vine. The bunches are photographed on site using a non-destructive camera and the resulting images are analysed to determine the volume and estimate the weight of each bunch.

This fast, early estimate of yield for individual plots appears to be reliable, as the operator cannot influence the result. The estimating of bunch weight is satisfactory with less than 10% difference between estimate and actual measurement. The system works in all winegrowing regions and for all grape varieties, the method having been calibrated by means of more than 10,000 photographs.

SMURFIT KAPPA

BAG-IN-TUBE – SAVEUR: attractive packaging for the upper end of the market

A 3-litre pack aimed at the upper end of the market consisting of a double-bottomed cardboard tube containing a plastic bag fitted with a Vitop- tap that can be opened and closed repeatedly. Even after opening, the packaging preserves the quality of the product as no oxygen is allowed to enter the bag.

This attractive-looking, customisable packaging is equipped with a convenient carrying handle.

SOFRALAB-MARTIN VIALATTE

Vegetable protein based winemaking products for must and wine clarification

The must and wine clarification products presented are made from vegetable proteins obtained from wheat and peas, which are the only two proteins, authorised by the OIV.

The recommended doses are slightly higher than those generally used for animal proteins. The manufacturer nonetheless considers the cost to the user to be similar.

The results obtained are comparable to those obtained using existing products such as gelatines. Although the risk of allergy is apparently negligible, any product containing gluten will be required to carry the words “contains gluten” on the packaging.

These products offer a wine clarification solution without the use of animal proteins.

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