Browse Month by October 2017
winery upgrades

Upgrading an Older Vineyard


new vineyard construction

One of the most challenging things for vineyard owners to face is upgrading. They’ve used buildings and equipment that have been passed down from generations, but over time need replacing. Many of the old school wine makers were using the wooden vats to harvest their grapes. Even though they are thoroughly cleaned, residual product is still left in the wood which can mold and mildew overtime. In any wooden structure, cracks form along the slats, and expand over time. Since the wood is not treated, there is no way to avoid this kind of breakdown. The grapes get mashed into these grooves and even with the most thorough cleaning; will remain.

Naturally, any type of food products will mold when left over time. This can cause contamination in future product, and diminish the overall quality of the wine. The way to avoid this problem is to convert to steel or aluminum vats. These can be properly cleaned after every use with organic cleaners that will not taint the wine. The struggle that growers face with this is of course the cost. To have all of their old containers removed, and replaced with new ones, can be very expensive. Many put it off season after season, but in the long run they are only harming the quality of their product.

The second largest factor in upgrade challenges, is ventilation. The proper airflow through the entire facility is very important, and is something wineries often overlook. They are not aware of the buildup that collects in their current duct system. Since the day to day operations occupy most of their time, things of this nature are not properly addressed and can cause problems in the future. What happens is, dust and dirt from the processing collects in the air vents where it is trapped, and can cause blockages.

proper vineyard ventilation

During the fermentation process C02 gas is released, which is very dangerous to humans. Is of the utmost importance that the ventilation ducts are clear so that these gases can be drawn out efficiently. When the pipeline is clogged, the gas stays trapped and can cause a serious health hazard to everyone in the area. Many growers aren’t aware of how fast this buildup collects, so it is very important to have someone come out and check your system every six months. Many HVAC companies are happy to do this on a routine basis to make sure that your plant is running as clean as possible.

Pennsylvania wineries have really started to look at this issue very closely as there were some incidences that caused everyone to be on alert. There are companies in that area such as Horizon, Oliverheatcool, and S & S Heating and Air that were available to inspect these facilities for possible problems. During a routine call for Phoenixville heating repair S & S noticed an unusual odor coming from the vents. It was found that mold was growing in the system, which could cause bacteria to spread throughout the building. Never be afraid to ask your service provider to do a quick look around while they are there. They are happy to inspect the duct structure to alleviate any future worries.