Award for technical progress

During INTERVITIS INTERFRUCTA HORTITECHNICA outstanding new and further developments are honoured for their contribution towards progress in the wine, fruit juice and special crop industries. Anyone who is dissatisfied with the status quo, is looking for better solutions and brings his idea to market maturity is already one of the creative leaders in his industry. The best entries are presented with the Innovation Award in Gold and Silver by an independent international jury.

The Innovation Award is awarded by the German Winegrowers' Association in cooperation with DLG (German Agricultural Society) for technical processes, systems, products or services in four categories:

  • Cultivation and harvesting technology 
  • Processing and process control 
  • Filling and packaging technology
  • Organisation and marketing

Innovation Award 2016: Cultivation and Harvesting Technology

“CH 500 St” – Steep Slope Harvester for Grapes
from Carl Hoffmann Landmaschinen-Fachbetrieb GmbH, Piesport, Germany

The cable-drawn CH 500 St steep slope harvester from the company Hoffmann in Piesport (Mosel) is the first harvester ready for use on steep slopes. The jury regarded this new development a considerable improvement on the machinery currently available. As the operating principle requires only one machine track, terraced vineyards can also be harvested. The physically demanding and intensive work carried out on the steep slopes and terraces has now been mechanised for the first time. As the steep slope harvester is less expensive and more powerful than manual harvesting, it has the potential to make a significant difference to winegrowing on steep terrain. One particular highlight is that harvest losses can be kept to an absolute minimum and the quality of the grapes to the standard of a modern, automotive harvester. 

“Width-Adjustable Disc Harrow” for Winegrowing, Fruit Cultivation and Asparagus Cultivation
from Herzau + Dipl.-Ing. K. Schmitt GmbH, Fulda, Germany

Hydraulic adjustment of the disc harrow has made it easier to work in the most varied of conditions. The jury saw this as a considerable improvement compared to the current machinery available. The working width and the direction in which the earth is moved can be hydraulically adjusted from the cabin. Meaning the driver can adjust his work methods to the ground conditions. There is also the option of replacing the disc harrow blades with rotary harrow elements and thus expanding the scope of operation. The machine is thus not only suitable for winegrowing, but also special crops (e.g. fruit and asparagus). 

“Antonio Carraro Model TONY 9800 SR” – Tractor with Hydraulic Drive 
from Antonio Carraro S.p.A., Campodarsego (Padova), Italy

The new hydraulic drive with four speeds represents the technological progress being made in this sector. Software is used to control the drive, which monitors the mechanical/hydraulic transmission of power, together with a torque converter for all speeds. The Torque Control System keeps the pressures in the hydraulic system constant. In combination with a CAT 4-certified cabin, this is an advanced solution for vineyard tractors in border locations.

“DEUTZ-FAHR Agroplus S/V” – Independent Front Axle Suspension 
from Same Deutz-Fahr Deutschland GmbH, Lauingen, Germany

Technical progress has been made with the new independent suspension of the front axle. Alignment of the tractor has improved, and the weight is more evenly distributed among all four wheels. This results in better traction, greater comfort and additional safety, as well as improved braking. The hydraulic front axle suspension works together with the differential traction control. Every wheel has its own position and speed sensor.

“F3015” – Electronic Rechargeable Pruning Shears Electrocoup
from ALBrecht GmbH, Eisenberg, Germany

With these rechargeable pruning shears, the control unit has been integrated into the body of the shears for the first time, which has made them considerably easier to use. The on/off button, charge level indicator and blade settings are all convenient to use. The person carrying out the work wears just the battery pack on his harness. The battery can be universally used and is thus suitable for many other applications.

“leova® Fructur” – Steel Pile in Fruit Cultivation
from voestalpine Krems GmbH, Krems an der Donau, Austria

With the development of its leova®Fructur pile, the company voestalpine Krems GmbH is providing an alternative to the usual wood and cement piles traditionally used in the cultivation of fruit. The pile combines the flexibility of a wood pile with the durability of a cement pile. With its practical click system, the end cap allows for simple positioning, insertion and latching of the tensioning wires.

“VINION and PRUNION” – Pruning Shears
from Pellenc GmbH, Kappelrodeck, Germany

Thanks to the reduced weight of the shears and battery, as well as the sensor-free brush motor, motor power has increased to 92%, whereby the speed of the blades has increased by 30% and cutting performance by 25%. Furthermore, the shears have an optical infrared finger recognition feature, which is used to accurately control the opening movement of the cutting head. An altogether better performance and reduced workload.


Innovation Award 2016: Processing and Process Control

“Terminator” – Rotating Dynamic Crossflow Filter
from TMCI Padovan SPA, Vittorio Veneto, Italy

The dynamic cross-flow filtration with rotating filter elements was developed for the filtering of lees from wine and has been already tested in numerous application studies. The jury regarded this as a considerable improvement when compared to the current machinery available. The technology presented achieved yeast concentrations of up to 95%, without the use of filter aids. Compared to conventional cross-flow technology, fouling of the membranes by the rotation movement has been considerably reduced. And in comparison with existing dynamic cross-flow filters, the flux of the Terminator is considerably higher. The high degree of control and automation reduces the number of operating personnel and minimises the energy required filtering lees from the wine.

“Trenolin® BouquetPLUS” – ß-Glycosidase
from Erbslöh Geisenheim AG, Geisenheim, Germany 

Enzymes play an important role when it comes to creating a stronger varietal aroma. While the conventional enzymes are blocked by glucose and only active at the end of the fermentation process, at cool temperatures that are not exactly ideal, the new enzymes used in Trenolin Bouquet PLUS allow for a release even with high residual sugar content. The enzymes thus begin to take effect at the start of the fermentation process, and also at high temperatures. These enzymes are also highly purified, and do not release any phenolic-smoky aromas in the wine from odourless precursors. The jury regarded this as a considerable improvement. Many aromatic white wines benefit from a certain residual sweetness, however have had to do without the additional bonus of varietal aroma due to the glucose inhibition of ß-Glucosidase. Trenolin Bouquet PLUS is thus further improving the quality of the various wines. 


“BactiLess” – Chitosan Derivatives for Efficient Management of Bacteria Population in Wine 
from Lallemand GmbH, Vienna, Austria 

Climate change has led to an increase in the pH value of must and, as a result, an increasing quantity of unwanted microorganisms that is damaging the quality of wine considerably. The jury recognised the innovative approach taken by the company to broaden the spectrum of chitosan activity with a special award. Specific modifications to the chitosan have made it possible, for the first time, to not only bind and eliminate the Brettanomyces yeast, but also unwanted lactic acid and acetic acid bacteria. The risk of stuck fermentation and the formation of off-flavours during winemaking is thus reduced.

“Erbslöh® LA-C” – Aroma Yeast with Reduced Alcohol Content
from Erbslöh Geisenheim AG, Geisenheim, Germany

As a consequence of climate change, the increased sugar content in must is leading to increasingly higher alcohol contents in wines. For white wines, in particular, this trend is becoming less than favourable among consumers and not in keeping with social demand for a moderate consumption of wine. The jury thus recognised the innovative idea of reducing alcohol content of classically selected yeast strain in favour of a considerably higher glycerine content with a special award. Thanks to the increased glycerine content, the full-bodied flavour and complexity of the wines is additionally improved.

“IONYS Reinzuchthefe sacc.cerevisiae” – Cultured Yeast with Low Alcohol Content
from Lallemand GmbH, Vienna, Austria

A lower alcohol content can be achieved, despite increasing sugar levels in must thanks to a changing climate, when the breakdown of sugar by wine yeast leads to ingredients other than alcohol. The jury was impressed enough with the conventionally selected yeast strain to present the company with a special award, as it forms both glycerine and succinic acids instead of alcohol. The succinic acid lowers the pH value, and thus the spectrum of activity of unwanted harmful organisms. The yeast strain thus makes an important contribution toward promoting moderate alcohol consumption.

“Cool T-control(TM)” – Control Program for Tank Press in Cool Design
from Scharfenberger GmbH & Co.KG, Bad Dürkheim, Germany

This innovative control program combines the refrigeration control of the press basket with the individual press program. The temperatures during pressing processes can thus be controlled and unwanted tannin extraction, oxidation, as well as the multiplication of unwanted microorganisms, successfully counteracted.

“eSan-Filterbeutel” – Filter Bag for Processing Small Amounts of Must Lees
from Erbslöh Geisenheim AG, Geisenheim, Germany

This innovative product is used to process the smallest amounts of must lees, which either come from high-quality musts or accumulate in very small businesses. Financially speaking, it increases the yield of high-quality wines, while reducing the unwanted must lees created by small businesses that accumulates in the public sewage systems.

“FYNEO” – Yeast Extract
from IOC, Mardeuil, France 

This innovative product has made it possible for the first time to dispense with both animal and vegetable protection agents. The use of a yeast protein to fine the wine thus signals a return to an ingredient intrinsically connected with wine: yeast.

“Inert-Protect(TM) ECO” – Inert Gas Overlay of the Press Basket
from Scharfenberger GmbH & Co.KG, Bad Dürkheim, Germany

This innovative solution allows for an inexpensive implementation of the complex process of inert gas compression using simple technology. With this mature approach, the inert gas compression appeals to a broader group of users looking to considerably improve the aroma variety and style of certain wines.

“Malotabs” – BSA Starter Culture in Tablet Form
from Lallemand GmbH, Vienna, Austria

With the user-friendly packaging of lactic acid bacteria in easy-to-use tablet form, this innovative product will make the work of oenologists and cellar masters considerably easier when preparing wine. For example, when it comes to large, difficult-to-reach tanks, or for the precise inoculation of individual barrique barrels.  

“ML-Prime” – Starter Culture for the Addition of Mash, Must and Wine
from Lallemand GmbH, Vienna, Austria

With this innovative development of the homofermentative lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum, malolactic fermentation is guaranteed before and during the fermentation process, in particular with red wines. This early implementation of the malolactic fermentation brings considerable advantages over the week-long BSA required after fermentation, especially as the formation of acetic acid can be ruled out. 

“NDCF” – Dynamic Cross-Flow Filtration
from novoflow GmbH, Rain, Germany

This dynamic cross-flow filter vertically positions the container for better drainage. This reduces must and wine losses, as well as the space required for storage of the filter in the cellar. 

“Vinoquant 11 +” – Process for Creating a Fermentation Curve
from Kübler-Alfermi GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany 

With this innovative idea, it is possible the represent the degree of fermentation based on a simple density measurement. At the same time, measurement data is immediately sent via radio, thus avoiding transmission errors. With this clever development, specific fermentation processes can be visualised and assessed very quickly on the computer or smartphone, facilitating a quick reaction to any possible problems. 


Innovation Award 2016: Filling and Packaging Technology

“NDtech” – Test Procedure for Natural Corks
from Amorim Cork Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG, Bingen, Germany

TCA (2, 4, 6-trichloranisole) is one of the reasons for off-colours in natural corks. With the newly developed “NDtech” test procedure, every single natural cork is tested for TCA during production. To do this, a new, quick chromatography is used that has been developed by Amorim together with a company located in Cambridge (UK). This process allows each cork to be inspected in seconds, with an analysis carried out in accordance with ISO 20752. If the TCA quantity determined is above the detection limit of 0.5 ng/l, the cork is automatically eliminated from the production line. Following 5 years of development, Amorim can now guarantee with “NDTech” neutrally flavoured natural corks without demonstrable TCA (<0.5 ng/l). The jury recognised this process as being a considerable improvement on previous methods.

“One by One” – Test Procedure for Natural Corks
from M.A. Silva Corticas, Lda., Mozelos, Portugal

TCA (2, 4, 6-trichloranisole) is one of the reasons for the off-colour or “cork taste” in natural corks. M. A. Silva is now presenting, after three years of research and development work together with European universities, an individual cork test that claims to guarantee TCA-free corks for the consumer. According to the jury, this procedure represents a considerable improvement on the technology already available. The fully automated process is based on modern gas phase spectroscopy and is intended for high-quality natural corks used with premium wines. Each cork is inspected “one-by-one” to ensure TCA content is within the detection limit (0.5 ng/L) according to ISO 20752; corks that do not meet the criteria are automatically eliminated. The gas phase spectroscopy is a highly sophisticated method and can, according to the company, accurately detect trichloranisole in both washed and unwashed corks. Which is why M. A. Silva can guarantee its corks are “100% TCA-free”.

“INSPECTA” – Bottle Inspector
from Gruppo Bertolaso S.p.A., Zimella, Italy

The concept of this bottle inspection system, which rotates the bottles to disperse any contaminants, thus making them easier to detect, is new and innovative. By improving inspection of the bottle content, greater product safety is guaranteed, from which the end consumer benefits. 

“Turbomat” – Rotary Dryer
from Kematec Kellereitechnik GmbH, Teningen, Germany 

The arrangement of a moving nozzle ring to blow-dry the bottle represents a completely new design and innovative concept. The system requires less space, which is a clear benefit to smaller businesses. The energy saved is also in keeping with the current trend to conserve as much resources as possible.


Innovation Award 2016: Organisation and Marketing

“BayWeinTEK” – Information Platform for the Construction and Modernisation of Wine Estates
from the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture, Veitshöchheim, Germany

The BayWeinTEK information platform is an opportunity for anyone looking to modernise or expand their vineyards to find out more about this topic. This online service provides visitors with basic information around the clock, without needing to organise any direct consultations. However, with extensive information on potential contractors, BayWeinTEK can help ensure any subsequent contact is used more effectively and with greater focus. The aspects highlighted on the platform also take energy and environmental issues into consideration, for which improvements may also result. Practical examples are provided as inspiration, and to comprehensively explore many of the aspects associated with a possible structural investment. 



“CHAWA-MAT 100” - Autonomous Cleaning System
from Liebi + Schmid AG, Schinznach-Dorf, Switzerland

CHAWA-MAT 100 is a practical solution for a recurring problem in the wine business. It has been designed to make life easier wherever sufficient supply connections are lacking. Instead of non-returnable glasses, CHAWA-MAT 100 allows for the use of wine glasses at any event, even those without the necessary catering infrastructure. Thus facilitating the consumption of wine in style, without producing additional waste.