raisin sorting

Any ideas on how to sort out raisins? (except hand sorting) Is there any equipment out there that does a good job?

Nicholas, my winemaker took some pictures last year of equipment that sorts out raisins. It is owned by a high-end Napa winery that will remain nameless. The machine costs $150,000. I posted the pictures on my website:

Vintner’s Journal: What to get a winery who has everything.

I used that bad boy for a couple of weeks at Hartwell before it went to the winery that Randy won’t name. I was under the impression it was closer to $250K… anyhow…

The Vistalys would be perfect for larger production facilities. Fast – up to 10 tons/hr of digitally scanned, optically sorted goodness. The learning/dialing in phases were a bitch - but when it worked… look out!

As far as I know - the best way to sort raisins is drop the fruit in the vineyard. Once those bastards hit the shaking table, they are a real bitch to grab.

Willaim, you could be right. I don’t know how sure Cary Gott was about his information.

If I was a high production house, I’d order 2 yesterday. Super clean fruit on the far end, no sorting table labor, high speed – it’s worth it, despite the price tag.

That unnamed winery in your pics – they must have had what - 20-30 people sorting?

I was more thinking about adjusting the speed of the destemmer . Raisins are more firmly attached they should stay on the stems if not beatten up too much?

Nicolas - please check your Private Messages regarding your username

I’m actually amazed at the amounts of jacks coming out of that new Delta. Is that typical? My old zambelli did better than that!

It’s not a perfect machine by any stretch. The destemmer they were using, IMHO, wasn’t the best. The hardest part is getting the learning phase dialed in. I can tell you that almost nothing other than berries got through when we had it running and dialed in at Hartwell. But we were using a Delta EII with nice, cold fruit which really helps.

We have adjustable rupper paddles on our Lugana that you can dial in per bunch size-next to no jacks or pieces.

Back when I was using a delta on Syrah, we had problems with jacks – well, not problems, really. There were a lot of them, but Syrah benefits from from a touch of stemminess, even when they’re a bit green. With Pinot and Cab, especially from older vineyards, we had no such problems.
As far as raisin’s go, I had the frenchy-french at the armbuster booth try to sell me a sorting table, ‘Everrrrybody is uzing zem.’ (if everybody was jumping off a bridge… You look young and they think “sucker!”) Waste of money. If you do your work in the vineyard and before it goes into the destemmer, you shouldn’t have enough raisins to make a difference.

Good to see ya over here, Ian. [berserker.gif]
I’ve always enjoyed your posts/participation over ‘there’.


Nicholas, Is there a reason you’re getting a lot of raisins?

I am battling the vineyard manager to not remove so many leaves on Pinot. Even in the russian river there is plenty of sun. I have just noticed that after 23.5 brix no matter what there are some raisins.

http://www.wineberserkers.com/viewtopic.php?p=233226#p233226" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If he gets too nervous about rot to leave the leaves in place, a couple applications of Surround (white kaolin clay–organic) can help a lot with raisining.

This last harvest we saw a little more raisining than usual in Oregon. Where I make wine, we have a slotted tray at the beginning of the sorting table for juice, bugs, shot berries…and based on what I cleaned out, lots of raisins. If we’re talking about shrivel, that’s another story. But I find that raisins sometimes come off stems pretty easily and can fall through the slots and never even make it onto the sorting table. Won’t take care of everything, but it’s a start.

I like to have a few “sad faces” in there but true raisined bunches, the few that make it in to the bin are usually fairly easy to spot and toss from the sorting table.

I’m what Ian would call a sucker who wastes money. :slight_smile:

We use a belt to sort clusters and then an LT from P&L off the destemmer and then a final belt table for berry sorting and to gather any remaining jacks, rainsins, etc. We tend to run a crew of 6-8 sorters total (includes me 'n the assistant). We have three vintages on this system. The LT does a solid job on the few shot berries and raisins we see, but doesn’t work as well on jacks (I prefer to control my stem inclusion). I like the pre-juicing the LT offers as well. If you’re lucky or diligent, you can find one for well under $10K on the used market. Depending on the speed at which you process, you might need to step up to the LT 2+2 (we used one for a year and it was overkill for us) if you were interested in the LT system.

I wouldn’t say you’re a sucker for looking into these types of solutions. We invest a lot in the vineyard, but I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a 100% clean pick, let alone a 100% clean destem. And sure, some will say that what you sort out isn’t large enough to have a material impact on quality. They might be right. From my personal perspective, it matters, at minimum, philosophically. In other words, there’s a phrase I banned in the winery a few years ago: “good enough.” It also makes me feel better that our sorted v. not sorted blind trials have unanimously supported sorting.

We keep the canopy thicker on the afternoon side, so not much problem with sunburning.

What do you guys think the effect of some raisins in the fermenter is? Obviously there is no juice.