A new working platform

July 24th, 2013 | Bodega

PlatformIf you look back at our blogs or vintage reports over the last few years you will probably find a photo or two of Fran (our cellar guy) balancing precariously on top of the presses during harvest. His task at this point is simply to distribute the grapes evenly inside the press as they tumble from the reception area on the level above, which is much more difficult than it sounds. To be completely honest, clambering up on a ladder and then straddling the machine is very far from ideal, some might say, even a little dangerous.

Finding a solution to alleviate the danger was never going to be easy, and whatever we decided would certainly have to be a customised design and build to fit into a very tight space. Indeed, we quickly realised that short of removing the roof, it was probably a design that would have to be built in situ. Our planners (Fran and myself) got our heads together, and based on our experience of working together on the presses over the last decade, came up with a plan of what was needed.

Having missed the window to do this last year (we left it to late!), we got an early start this year, and presto! Our design has now come to fruition. It is an in-house build (as Fran is also very handy with a welding torch), but I’m sure you will agree from today’s photograph, that the finished platform looks both very solid and very professional. Of course the one thing that you don’t really appreciate is that this new working areas is actually 1.80m (nearly 6ft) above the floor, and that the top of the press is nearly 3.0m (over 9ft), which would be a long way to fall onto the tiled concrete floor below!

The genius of the design (that you can just about make out from the photo) are the two side platforms that pull up from each side of the main platform, rather like a draw bridge, allowing the press to be closed up and to turn freely once it has been charged with grapes. 

It’s so impressive that maybe we should give up making wine and move into light engineering!

PlatformIf you look back at our blogs or vintage reports over the last few years you will probably find a photo or two of Fran (our cellar guy) balancing precariously on top of the presses during harvest. His task at this point is simply to distribute the grapes evenly inside the press as they tumble from the reception area on the level above, which is much more difficult than it sounds. To be completely honest, clambering up on a ladder and then straddling the machine is very far from ideal, some might say, even a little dangerous.

Finding a solution to alleviate the danger was never going to be easy, and whatever we decided would certainly have to be a customised design and build to fit into a very tight space. Indeed, we quickly realised that short of removing the roof, it was probably a design that would have to be built in situ. Our planners (Fran and myself) got our heads together, and based on our experience of working together on the presses over the last decade, came up with a plan of what was needed.

Having missed the window to do this last year (we left it to late!), we got an early start this year, and presto! Our design has now come to fruition. It is an in-house build (as Fran is also very handy with a welding torch), but I’m sure you will agree from today’s photograph, that the finished platform looks both very solid and very professional. Of course the one thing that you don’t really appreciate is that this new working areas is actually 1.80m (nearly 6ft) above the floor, and that the top of the press is nearly 3.0m (over 9ft), which would be a long way to fall onto the tiled concrete floor below!

The genius of the design (that you can just about make out from the photo) are the two side platforms that pull up from each side of the main platform, rather like a draw bridge, allowing the press to be closed up and to turn freely once it has been charged with grapes. 

It’s so impressive that maybe we should give up making wine and move into light engineering!

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