Thermal protective cover maintains fruit’s harvest temperatures during transport
August 6, 2014, San Andreas , CA – Longtime winegrower Stephen Collum and his business partner Elissa Holdener, creators of the Vineyard Concept Cover announce further testing of his groundbreaking new product that dramatically shows the effectiveness of the covers in maintaining the cool temperatures of the fruit from harvest to processing. Now growers can ensure delivery at the highest quality even when travel times find the bins moving to the wineries in the heat of the day. And winemakers can now have the extra advantage of handling the fruit in a measured pace with better results than ever before.
A Concept Cover is a reflective shield that when placed over the freshly-picked bins of grapes can maintain that cool temperature the fruit was harvested at for hours. The covers easily unfold to surround the bins, are durable and easy to wash, rinse and reuse time and again.
Collum said, “We knew the product was working from our own experiences of bringing grapes from the Sierra Foothills to North Coast wineries in the heat of the day, but we wanted to have measurables to show our customers.” In partnership with the University of California Cooperative Extension, over this past harvest, a series of tests were conducted. First with bins of water, then with harvested wine grapes on various days held for varying lengths of time under each of the types of materials Concept Covers are created from; the results are impressive. Even after hours of resting in the sun, the covered bins maintained the cool, desirable temperature winemakers are seeking for the fruit arriving from the vineyards. The uncovered bins’ fruit was reaching nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Holdener said, “The single-bubble design is much like the original style made from a woven material; the difference is a layer of bubble that works even harder at keeping temperatures regulated. The unique fabric is superior at maintaining any product at the temperature started with—and it’s proving to be great protection for the fruit from all the elements including rain, snow and wind as well as severe heat. The lightweight fibers make it really easy to simply fold and store.”
Also of note, Concept Covers provide the produce all of the highest food safety precautions for transport and quarantine—benefits that are at the forefront of the agriculture industry.
Wine grapes, and other high-value fruits and vegetables like cherries have all had similar results in testing. Heat damage can be detrimental to the quality of the deliverable product and can stress grower-producer relationships. Bringing fruit to its final destination in the same optimal temperature zone it was picked at is just one more way to give winemakers and fruit processors the extra edge over their competition.
Collum says, “We are using Concept Covers to maintain temperatures during cold soaks and fermentations as well. With inert gases to assist and protect in long-term maceration, there are now even more ways to use Concept Covers in winemaking.”
Steve Collum is a hand-on farmer with a very effective grassroots product that’s revolutionizing the industry. Hear him in his own words tell about Concept Covers.
Concept Covers are proudly made in California; the covers are available in either heavy woven material at a standard bin size priced at $40 per unit or from the single-bubble insulated material for $43 per unit. Other sizes and styles are available. Stock is on hand and ready to ship. Custom sizes can be easily produced. For full product line and information visit the website