The advantages of densimetric sorting
The first step in a finely tuned process is always crucial. Sorting the grapes is the starting point of the winemaking process, from which the quality of the wine is determined. This is why Château de Birazel chose the ultimate sorting solution: the Delta Densilys density bath sorter from Bucher Vaslin, which has been combining tradition and innovation for almost 150 years.
A few weeks before the harvest, the team carries out a first sorting of the grapes in the traditional way, “by eye” and on the vine, under the auspices of Jean-Philippe Fort from Cabinet Rolland.
Marketed since 2017 by the leader in winemaking equipment, the Delta Densilys was rewarded by the Vinitech-Sifel 2018 Innovation Awards jury. The automatic sorting system selects ripe grapes according to their density using a gravity circuit. It is integrated into the optimised reception chain that we deploy at the château: the berries pass over the vibrating table, then into the Densilys, and onto a second table for a final manual sorting, followed by a gravitational vatting by conveyor belt.
A few weeks before the harvest, the team carries out a first sorting of the grapes in the traditional way, “by eye” and on the vine, under the auspices of Jean-Philippe Fort from Cabinet Rolland. The aim is to eliminate grapes that are not ripe enough so that the bunches, better aerated and distributed, reach a perfect level of ripeness.
When the harvest arrives at the cellar, we turn to the most sophisticated technology to select the ripest grapes, and to eliminate any waste that could parasitize the juice. It is important to ensure that the berries are transported with care, so that they do not spoil and oxidise, and that they are sorted upon arrival. The Densilys meets all these requirements.
The harvest is poured into a 7.5-hectolitre stainless steel hopper, filled with sugar water, the density of which can be adjusted according to the desired objective. The undesirable elements (notably the under-ripe grapes) float to the surface of the bath and are continuously evacuated towards an endless screw thanks to a circulation pump.
The ripe, denser berries sink to the bottom. There, a conveyor belt receives them and conveys them to the top exit of the machine. This perforated belt also allows the harvest to be drained smoothly.
The Delta Densilys has many advantages. It is mobile, easy to adjust and use, and very compact (less than 3.6m long, 2m tall, and 1.8m wide), with an expected sorting capacity of 4 tonnes per hour. Optimised sorting allows us to obtain “clean” juice and therefore to control the profile of our wines. The objective is to respect the grapes from the vine to the glass, in order to offer wines of the highest quality.