Grape Harvesting

Harvesting 08 016Vineyard Ops specializes in the mechanical harvesting of winegrapes  for growers throughout California.  Operated by our highly-skilled team of trained technicians, our fleet of New Holland Braud harvesters guarantee maximum output even in the most demanding conditions, while avoiding damage to the vineyard and safeguarding the quality of the harvested fruit.
Mechanical harvesting of grapes can be done at night, allowing for the harvesting and delivery of cold fruit.  Mechanical harvesting of grapes can take the place of large numbers of costly hand labor.  Our modern, state of the art Braud harvesters are able to mechanically harvest in various field conditions including limited turning radius and on slopes up to 30%.


We have four Braud SB Series Grape Harvesters and one Braud VX Series Grape Harvester. The Braud Harvesters utilize the most advanced harvesting technology available today.

Hollow shaker rods made of a very flexible material are bent into an arc by a drive mechanism which alternates the curve of the shaker rod so that one side reaches its maximum curvature while the other is at its straightest position.  The frequency of this shaking as well as the number of shakers can be adjusted so as not to damage the vine.  The harvesting tunnel is open at the front to allow for throughput of the vine.  Additionally, each of the shakers can bend independently, which ensures every shaker adapts perfectly to the plant size.

The unique basket collection system consists of two conveyors, each with 62 soft food-grade polyurethane baskets.  The conveyors travel on stainless steel rails at a speed inversely proportional to your working speed.   This ensures that the baskets remain stationary in relation to the ground surface, passing around the bottom of the vinestock without rubbing.

A series of fans equipped with shoot-choppers ensure highly efficient cleaning by removing the leaves from the harvested fruit.

The transverse leveling system, controlled by the operator in the cab, will compensate for slopes up to 30%.  The front wheels can be turned up to 90 degrees.  The wide wheel base, leveling system and optimum weight distribution provide optimum stability and maximum security, even on undulating terrain.


Mechanization of Vineyards

The technology is there, but adoption is slow for U.S. growers.
By Mark Greenspan
From Wine Business Monthly, 11/15/2007

Vineyard Design for Mechanical Harvesting
Many vineyards can already be harvested by machine, but here are a few considerations to be aware of–even if you plan on hand-picking in the near-term.
By Mark Greenspan
From Wine Business Monthly, 11/15/2008

Moving Toward Mechanical
By Alan Goldfarb
From Wines & Vine, March 2008

Vineyard Mechanization: Does it Obscure Terroir?
By Bibiana Guerra
From Wine Business Monthly, 11/15/2008

Product Review: The New Wave of Mechanical Harvesters
Growers seeking higher quality harvests have learned that today’s mechanically harvested fruit is cleaner than hand-picked.
By Bill Pregler
From Wine Business Monthly, 11/15/2006

Industry Roundtable
Winemaking with Mechanically Harvested Grapes
By Lance Cutler
From Wine Business Monthly, 11/15/2008

Vineyard Automation
Did you know that when you automate your vineyards, quality goes up? You get better fruit with less hassle.
By Cyril Penn
From Wine Business Monthly, 11/15/2006