The majority of the people think of making wine as an easy and fun job. They imagine the process with tubs filled with grapes and ready to be stomped on. From a cursory view of the process, it seems like a fun experience. However, it may not be the best and easy way to crush grapes for producing wine.

It is a laborious job for wine producers as, firstly, they must go out in the field and harvest the grapes from the trees. Before introducing machinery into the harvesting process, this task would take several days. Friends and family of all ages would come and help to harvest the grapes.

It would be difficult to segregate grapes;  stems and leaves would get into the baskets and then dumped into the tubs for stomping along with the grapes. Straining the juices from the grapes would be tricky and not consistently successful.

Two thousand years before, it has been recorded that European winemaking began by stomping grapes in the tubs. Similarly, the Chinese produced their own concoction of fermented rice, honey, and fruit. This mixture was the precursor to the standard grape wine produced today.

So far, the earliest signs of winemaking were found at a site called Areni (a village in the center of municipality Areni) in Armenia. Archaeologists discovered a platform for crushing grapes and jars for storage. The site is considered to be the first winery in the world. It is believed that from here, the art of winemaking spread throughout Europe and was very popular in Greece at the beginning. In Greek culture, wine was thought to be a gift to and from the gods and was seen as an icon of immortality.

With the passage of time, machinery was introduced into winemaking to get rid of the hard physical labor, especially the stomping process. The exact date of the machine invention is not recorded, it is assumed that the machine was created during the Industrial Age, around 1920.

The first documented grape sorting machine invented was called La Tribaie by grape grower Philippe Bardet.

La Tribaie has a rotating shaft with beaters inside that detaches grapes from the stems. The grapes then pass through holes into another machine that presses them to extract the juice while the stems and debris are discarded.

Machines were being invented and used to replace human efforts. The Industrial age started in Briton because of the damp climate and producing textiles. The Britons were able to produce machinery for industrialization and keep up with the growing demand locally and globally.

More industrial machines spread as the need to meet supply and demand grew. It spread through Europe first, then through America. Nowadays, Vintners have fully automated the winemaking process to meet the growing demand for quality wine.

See more resources here

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!