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TAS Country : March 31st 2011
8 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 1, 2011 News JUST GRAPES: All green matter is removed and only grapes collect. Gentle giant picks with MASTER: Viticulture consultant Carlos Souris and apprentice Jake Morton. HARVEST REVOLUTION: The big machine nosing down the rows is extremely gentle on the fruit. Pictures: JENNIFER CRAWLEY A giant harvester is stripping the vines on the Riversdale Estate in the Coal River Valley, reports Jennifer Crawley L PLATES: Jake Morton is in at the start of a new way of picking. THE harvester, designed and built by Roger Pellenc in France, is the only one of its kind in Tasmania and one of only four in Australia. The $600,000 Pellenc Selectiv Process is set to revolutionise grape-picking and winemaking in Tasmania, Riversdale Estate's Ian Roberts said. It de-stems grapes by resonating them at 1100 movements per minute. The high-frequency de-stemmer is extremely gentle on bunches, leaving bunch stems intact after removing whole bunches of grapes, which fall straight on to a sorting table before cascading into collecting bins, Mr Roberts said. ''It eliminates green matter from the load and is extremely gentle on fruit, which means that the quality of machine-harvested fruit is comparable to hand-picked fruit,'' he said . ''Red varieties will benefit from the elimination of leafy, green sappy characters that the green material -- the petioles, rachis and leaves -- can add in a harvested sample. ''We are so confident in the improvement in quality, particularly in red varieties, that we plan to machine-pick fruit which we have previously had to hand-pick.'' The 300 tonnes of fruit harvested from 45ha Riversdale will go to Frogmore Creek, Meadowbank Estate and Riversdale Estate wineries. Frogmore Creek Winery manager Danny Belvin said the harvester was ''fantastic''. ''I am very impressed with the quality of the fruit coming in,'' Mr Belvin said. Riversdale normally employs 50 pickers but the inconsistent weather has delayed harvest throughout the state. ''It's been virtually impossible to employ a team of labourers during the day -- rainfall means it's only in the afternoon when the rain stops that they can pick,'' Mr Belvin said. ''With this harvester we can work long into the night or early in the morning.'' Mr Belvin said there would be no job losses to the 20 permanent casuals employed at Riversdale because of the harvester, but here would be fewer backpacker positions. Viticulture consultant Carlos Souris is teaching his apprentice 2054640-110401 JBS AUSTRALIA All types of Livestock required for processing at our Longford & Devonport Plants Winter Forward Contracts available for yearling cattle Jul/Aug/Sep delivery For a competative price ring our Livestock Buyers today JBS Australia Tasmanian Livestock Team Tom Archer Livestock Manager M 0419 310 701 Allan Boyce Livestock Buyer M 0419 310 698 Mathew Bosworth Livestock Buyer M 0438 912 161 Rohan Hadley Livestock Buyer M 0437 228 536 Jacob Last Livestock Buyer M 0458 921 397 JBS Australia would like to thank producers for their continued support.
March 24th 2011
April 7th 2011