New Plant for EIT Winery

May 2, 2017

Checking out the new plant in EIT’s winery are, from left, Shaun La Franco, Samuel Plumejeau, Wilfried Dupeyroux, Diane Marshall, Horst Klos and Rod Chittenden.

Bucher’s area sales manager Samuel Plumejeau and technician Wilfried Dupeyroux and Viniquip’s managing director Horst Klos visited the campus winery to check on the destemmer-crusher and press within days of their commissioning.

Head of school for Viticulture and Wine Science Diane Marshall and wine science lecturers Shaun La Franco and Rod Chittenden were on hand to greet the three men and show them around the campus winery.

EIT was able to purchase the new equipment, imported from France, after Shaun approached Viniquip in Hastings. Klos responded by arranging for a special package through Bucher Vaslin.

Plumejeau said his company was very keen to be associated with teaching organisations – “it’s important to keep in contact with training centres, particularly when they are associated with research.”

“The benefit works both ways,” Klos pointed out. “From a learning point of view, the students will be working on the latest technology.” 

The Bucher Vaslin Delta E2/F2 destemmer-crusher’s first run, 40kg of Pinot Noir picked by students on a Trinity Hill block, was followed by 40kg
of Chardonnay and 150kg of Sauvignon Blanc, subsequently pressed with the Bucher Vaslin XPro 5 press.

The following week, students processed 300kg of whole bunch Chardonnay for methode traditionelle.

“It worked really well,” Rod enthused of the new equipment.

Told smaller batches were needed for research, with trial replicates kept separate, Plumejeau said the plant could work with as little as 15kg, produced less solids and was gentle on fruit.

The destemmer-crusher was one of the most used in the industry, he added, with more than 10,000 operated in wineries around the world. Boutique
operators like those in Burgundy and Italy, handling perhaps 10 to 20 tonnes every vintage, did not need big equipment.

Shaun said investment in modern winery equipment reflected the school’s commitment to “upping its game in terms of what we are teaching
our students.”

“The best thing,” he joked about the new equipment, “is that you don’t have to leap in to clean it!”