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VINITECH 2002 in Bordeaux - Quality techniques for quality wines

Jan Booysen

VINITECH 2002, The World Exhibition of Vines, Wines and Spirits Equipment and Techniques, took place from Tuesday 3 to Friday 6 December 2002 at the Bordeaux-Lac Exhibition Centre, Bordeaux, France. Dedicated to grape growing, oenology and bottling, the event brought together all the state-of-the-art technology and expertise in these fields.

This large gathering of grape growers and wine makers was a showcase for some 850 international exhibitors (representing more than 1 000 brands) and covered more than 37 000m2 .

Apart from the exhibition, a second series of seminars organised by Vinitech, in addition to the Mondiaviti colloquium, provided the opportunity for all participants to exchange views with leading wine experts and scientists. The following are some of the topics that were discussed:

  • Good practice for mechanical harvesters
  • The independent wine grower and regulations: rights, obligations and challenges
  • Quality control on the bottling line
  • Market trend: impact on company management and product policy
  • Identification and counting of micro-organisms in wine: principles and applications of molecular tools
  • New information technology tools to help improve the quality of wine
  • The future of varietal and blended wines
  • Risk assessment for worker health and safety

For a number of years Vinitech has been awarding prizes to the most innovative products, techniques and services in the wine and vine industry. The 2002 vintage will go down as one marked by a series of innovative ways to make quality wine while respecting the environment.

The chosen motto for the recent Vinitech was "quality techniques for quality wines". Against this background the three decisive selection criteria for the panel were the degree of innovation, improvement of the quality of wines and spirits and environmental friendliness.

Out of the 70 competing companies the panel shortlisted 20 applicants in the categories: Grape growing, Vinification and maturation, Bottling, packaging and services.

The panel awarded:

  • 3 Vinitech Gold Awards
  • 4 Vinitech Silver Awards
  • 3 Vinitech Bronze Awards
  • 10 Commendations were also awarded.

The winners have shown significant breakthroughs in:

  • Automatic regulation of viticultural machines,
  • Improvement in the quality of wines:
  • through sorting grapes at harvest time,
  • through management of the vinification process,
  • through organisation of work with wine in the barrel,
  • through labelling and packaging of bottles.
  • Safety at work,
  • Protection of the environment.

Gold Awards:

ATE SN "TRIBAIE 4 sorties" automatic harvest separator.

Distributed by AMOS.

Enables mechanisation of sorting and cleaning of harvest after de-stemming and sorting grapes according to quality. It consists of:

  • a vibrating table for regulation,
  • a leaf-stalk separator,
  • a drum for separating grapes and plant debris,
  • a vibrating table for evacuation.

The machine is made of stainless steel, designed to be easily cleaned by hosing down; there are no retaining areas.

NeoTIC EAC VINS:

Innovative monitoring system for wine-making processes.

Extranet system enabling wine-making processes and vats to be monitored; for co-operative wineries, merchants and independent growers. Using secure internet access, information can be exchanged among various users, monitoring is enhanced and distance is not an obstacle to decision-making. The system does away with problems between different versions of a programme and maintenance of these programmes while ensuring safe data back-up.

OXOLINE - GREGOIRE

Oxoline: system for storing and working with barrels.

OXOLINE, presented at Vinitech 2000, provides improvements in a number of areas such as: better utilisation of space, decreasing building and labour costs, as well as making work easier and safer. It is a modular structure enabling staggered storage of barrels on rotating rollers. In particular, it permits:

  • independent management of barrels,
  • increased stacking capacity (6 layers of barrels instead of 4)
  • cuts down need for stirring (3 to 4 times quicker)
  • full draining (bottom up)
  • easier and safer to use (APAVE certified)

For wine-makers who are content to leave barrels undisturbed during the maturation process it is expensive. However, those who use more dynamic wine-making techniques, like bātonnage, will find it is money well spent. Initial users report great satisfaction.

Silwer Awards:

CDER INFORMATIQUE VITIPRECIS

Programme module enabling a geographical approach to vineyard data to implement precision cultivation. This module includes GIS (geographical information systems) functions permitting cross-checking of information on both individual plots (growers) and wider areas (for collective structures such as co-operative wineries, growers' associations, or wine merchants). It permits improved knowledge of quality factors and dynamics of vines by taking into account geographical aspects of both plots and region.

DERRIEN & NICOLAS

Cylindrical wooden case

This patented, 100% wooden case is the first of its kind. In this era of sustainable development, the case is made from non destructible, non exhaustible materials. Absence of thickness at joints, due to coiling 2-3 leaves of wood, avoids ugly seams. Innovative, it is a cartridge without being made from the very common cardboard, and wooden without being like the classic case with hinges or a sliding top. At 2 euro apiece, it can be used for a vast category of products such as whiskies, champagnes, spirits and top-level wines. It is solid and thus protects the bottle from shocks, impacts and from dust. It is light and does not add to the cost of logistics or weight of outer packaging.

PELLENC SA

Universal leaf stripper with flexible rotating drum.

Leaves in the fruit-bearing zone are caught between two rotating drums, 450 mm in diameter. Their outer surface, in contact with the plant, is a flexible, malleable metallic sheet of stainless steel chain mail consisting of small, interwoven rings, 0.5 mm thick and 3 mm in diameter. Inside the drum, a vacuum is created by spiral suction fans mounted above each drum. Channelled by a fixed, flexible indented receptor inside the drum, it sucks the leaves up against the drum whose rotation carries them up to the cutter bar. After cutting, leaves remain attached to the drum until they reach the rim beyond the suction effect of the vacuum. Each drum swivels on a horizontal axis. Contact pressure is managed by custom-made electronic cylinder jacks.

TECNOMA

Hydro-Pilot: automatic speed regulator for straddle tractors.

A new type of automatic control adaptable to Hydro Pilot straddle tractors. The forward speed can be chosen and set very easily using a graduated scale. The device self-regulates hydrostatic transmission so as to maintain this constant, steady speed. This automatic control is associated with a forward sensor and an electronic calculator which pilots the actuator of the forward hydraulic circuit. The device thus guarantees constant, steady speed, an essential criterium for quality application of plant treatment products, and to avoid flow control systems. Contributes to safety by not exceeding the critical speed for stability on slopes.

Bronze Awards:

BALLIGAND

SELF DRIVEN "go anywhere" tool holder

Small tool holder designed for narrow vineyards. Specially adapted to vines on slopes, this tool holder has a device for correcting tilt, thus keeping the centre of gravity low (limiting the risk of turning over). It is equipped with hydraulic ports (simple, double and variable capacity) in front and back and it can carry numerous tools used for vineyard work. Light and inexpensive, it is well adapted to difficult conditions (slopes and reverse slopes) and is a good answer to mechanisation in these sorts of vineyards.

NOVINOX Sarl

INOX FILTRE: sintered stainless steel filtration

Sintered stainless steel has existed for a long time but presents the disadvantage of rapidly clogging and is difficult to unclog. This process offers the following advantages: environmentally friendly filtration: no consumables, very little discharge, very little loss, automatic regeneration, can be sterilised, simple design and easy to use, robust and safe.

In addition, it is eco-friendly and in line with current requirements.

MICHAEL PAETZOLD

PHYTOPUR process

Process for collecting and treating effluent with plant treatment products, consists of two stages:

  • collection of effluent in a machine washing station with a sander and oil separator, and a storage tank sized to take effluent for a full season.
  • treatment is carried out in three stages:
  • Coagulation/flocculation in storage vat,
  • Treatment in osmosis unit,
  • Refining treatment with tubular activated carbon fibre cartridge, used for its capacity to absorb organic molecules and mineral micro-pollutants.

Commendations:

One of the ten commendations is the NETAFIM UNIWINE line of integrated drippers.

NETAFIM has a new line of drippers enabling simultaneous and localised irrigation and fertilising. The drippers are integrated into the pipe which means they resist clogging and can be buried. The drippers have various functions, for instance they can regulate flow, prevent dumping (through an inlet valve) and anti-siphon trap.


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