Frind Estate Winery chose the Willmes Sigma 9 pneumatic press as it delivers superior, cleaner flavours and higher yields in less time. Pneumatic presses contain a ‘bladder’ inside the drum that is inflated with air during a press cycle, much like a balloon, which then pushes against the grapes, squeezing juice from the berries and tannins and other flavour compounds from the skin and seeds/stems. The low-pressure pressing capabilities of the Willmes Sigma 9 press give us juice (for white wine & rosé) or young wines (post-fermentation for reds) without the extra mechanical friction of other types of presses. This avoids the extraction of unwanted bitter flavours found in seeds and stems and results in less of the finer solids that end up as grape ‘lees’.
Compared to a conventional system, the shorter drainage paths that the Willmes Sigma 9 press contains and the double area of pressure application result in higher juice/wine yields and a shorter pressing cycle, which is energy efficient. The press contains patented double-membrane technology with vertical Flexidrain© juice channels, as seen in the picture below.
Another unseen advantage of the Willmes Sigma 9 press is the history behind the operating program of this machine, developed from centuries worth of experience. Growers, vintners, press technicians and researchers alike have all shared their experience and expertise to improve this technology. This cumulative wisdom shaped the gentle pressing technique seen today and resulted in one of the best grape presses ever made.
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