A state of the art optical sorter has been introduced to Brand’s Laira Coonawarra in an effort to assist with processing grapes for this year’s vintage.
The grape sorter is around five to 10 percent more efficient in dealing with contaminated grapes than the winery’s previous system. “Its more advanced and less time consuming than the normal system and we are the second winery in Coonawarra to introduce it,
” Brand’s Laira winemaker Peter Weinberg said.
Processing five to seven tonnes of grapes an hour, Mr Wienberg said it has been an asset during the devastating black frost, which hit Coonawarra in November. “It efficiently sorts and disposes of the unusable berries,” he said.
Cellar supervisor Paul Blackburn explained the process included screening berries under a high-speed camera. “The scanner detects the colour and size of the fruit as it passes through the conveyor and can identify anything that is not a berry, spitting out unwanted sticks and unripened fruit,” said Mr Blackburn.
The equipment uses a unique conveying system to shift destemmed grapes past a sorting module where a scanned takes a photograph of the fruit as they pass. Around 100 air jets blow the bad fruit off the belt while the remaining grapes are sorted. Mr Wineberg said it had been a solid investment, with fermentation already underway.