06 Abr Optical Sorting Machine
Until 2008, the grapes that gave life to our Edición Limitada wines and to our House of Morandé were received at the winery –after having been harvested in small boxes- to be submitted to a berry selection by hand. For this purpose, the grape boxes were emptied on a receiving hopper that moved them onto the de-stemmer. The berries, already separated from the stems, were then placed on a vibrating table that spread them out and led them to another, longer table. There, a group of women separated, as best they could, the grapes that were not healthy or ripe. This was, naturally, a monotonous and tiring job, which also required great concentration and dedication, both of which inevitably diminished as the minutes passed.
As of the 2008 harvest, the winery incorporated an optical grape sorter of Italian technology, specially developed for the wine industry. The process is the same but is carried out at a higher speed. The selection criteria are determined by the software based on the variety of the grapes (there are differences in the shape and size of the berries), the roundness of the berries (raisins lose their spherical condition), and the color of the berries (unripe or pink grapes). Pieces of stalks are also removed. This whole process is carried out using compressed air ejectors, which, upon detecting berries that do not meet the required standards, divert them to a “waste” bin through an intense air blow.
The use of this technology has also allowed us to include the Gran Reserva range in the grape-berry sorting. The speed increase has made it possible to process volumes of up to 14,000 kilos a day, the exact amount that allows us to fill our 16,000-liter tanks.
For our House of Morandé we use small stainless-steel vats with wheels and a capacity of just 600 kilos. We place these vats on the tank’s upper manhole and fill them without using the pressure of bombs that excessively crush and break the grapes before they start their fermentation process.