Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Pressure is ON

In the last two days, the pressure has really ramped up in the cellar. We have gone from processing 45 tonnes up to 180 tonnes in a day, which means near on constant crushing and pressing around the clock. 

omni bins full of freshly harvested verdelho grapes ready to be crushed
The grapes arrive in 'omni bins' which each carry approximately 1 tonne of machine harvested grapes.  They are lifted by forklift and dumped into the crusher, which then feeds into a de-stemming machine to remove any leaves, stems and other debris from the crushed grapes.

Now, this all sounds pretty simple in theory, but things can get out of hand very quickly if the crushing and pressing circuit is not operated properly.  Although I am not working in the crusher area, today I was called up for a spot of shovelling in the midday Swan Valley heat when a very large spill occurred.  There was at least 2 omni bins worth of grapes strewn everywhere, as the conveyor belts had backlogged, spewing out grape debris everywhere.  

Let me just say, I'm glad it wasn't me who caused the mess! 

This is not the actual spill (it was worse) but there was no time for photos whilst shovelling