Over at Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Henri Lurton had his eye on another piece of machinery:
Au chai, la vendange est triée manuellement sur deux tables disposées en parallèle. Après l'érafloir, une ligne de tri optique, Delta Vistalys, prend place dans la réception. Toute la vendange éraflée est filmée par une caméra. Un calculateur, quasi instantané, analyse l'image obtenue. Des buses d'air éliminent toutes les impuretés.
Il est ainsi possible de trier en fonction de la couleur et de la forme de la baie (fragments de rafles, baies flétries ou porteuses de botrytis). Ce procédé innovant permet une qualité de tri jamais atteinte auparavant. Il a valu à son concepteur, l'entreprise Bucher Vaslin, de se voir décerner une mention spéciale par un jury de journalistes scientifiques, lors du Salon international de l'agriculture en février 2009.
For those who don't speak French, this is from their press release:
Sorting quality has always been of utmost importance on the property - the first sorting table was adapted at Brane in the 1970s. And in 2008, the Viniclean system was introduced. But this year, Henri Lurton decided to radically modify the receiving of the harvest in order to take advantage of a brand new technology: optical sorting. Now, grapes are transferred from the vines to the cellar using the Air Tec Wine system, the goal of which is to prevent crushing. It is based on the use of small low-floor bins equipped with an automatic compressed-air suspension system. These bins are fit with wide low-inflated tires. They are emptied slowly through vibration. The advantages of this system are that it preserves the integrity of the grape berries and limits oxidation since the grapes are treated rapidly within the half-hour after they are collected (less handling versus the crate system).
When they arrive at the cellar, the harvested grapes are sorted manually on two tables arranged in parallel. After a new destemmer, a Vistalys optical sorting line was brought into the receiving area. All of the destemmed harvest’s constituents are filmed by a camera. An ultra-fast computer analyzes the resulting image. Jets of air specifically remove all impurities. It is therefore possible to sort not only by color (stem fragments, shot berries, etc.) but also by the health of the berry (withered or affected by Botrytis). This revolutionary process achieves a state-of-the-art sorting quality. It is reliable, fast, consistent and progressive.
I actually wrote about this machine last year. You can still see the video online.