Home Wine Industry Spotlights Behind the Scenes of the World’s Leading Wine Press

Behind the Scenes of the World’s Leading Wine Press

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Equipment for wine quality

When Scott Laboratories, the industry’s leading supplier for the North American wine community for over 80 years, began working with German manufacturer Willmes in 1982, it was not long before the company principals realized the sheer ingenuity and technological advancements behind the Willmes press.

In the European agricultural arena since 1918, Willmes’s company, by the same name, invented the first pneumatic grape press in 1951 and the first tank press in 1974, creating an industry standard as the only field specialists in pressing technology. A title they’ve now held for over 100 years.

SIGMA Press

Now, after a relationship that has lasted more than 35 years and three generations, Scott Laboratories and Willmes can proudly proclaim to be supplying the wine industry with the most innovative, efficient, durable, state of the art presses available on the market today.

“The success of our presses comes from responding to five basic needs,” explains Ulrich Willmes, General Manager and grandson of company founder Josef Willmes. “The gentle handling of the fruit, the high net yield of the juice, the quality of the product, ease of cleaning and the overall efficiency and flexibility of the machine.”

MERLIN Plus+

The genius of the Willmes press is justified by a unique pressing principle, which is based on a double membrane and vertical juice drains, therefore leading to several features and benefits for winemakers:

  • Because the filling material automatically sinks downwards during filling and natural juicing via the vertical drains, this frees up space for further filling. As a result, this enables up to 30% larger filling quantities.
  • Due to the double membrane, a yield of up to 95 % can be achieved at pressures of less than 0.8 bar. This results in Vertical draining channels allow for up to 35% shorter pressing times and up to 10% higher net juice yield of premium quality. In combination with the double membrane “the grapes are embraced – not squeezed,” according to Willmes customers.
  • The central juice outlet is hygienic and valve controlled. Oxidation is kept to a minimum.
  • Finally, the vertical draining channels can be quickly removed and installed from the outside for rapid, easy cleaning, eliminating the need to awkwardly or unsafely climb into the press body to accomplish the task.
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This revolutionary technology designed and patented by Willmes engineers serves as the backbone of all press machines currently in the market today.

Perhaps most impressive of all is the sheer efficiency and durability of the Willmes models over time. First generation presses from the 1950’s and 60’s are still in use, with over 500 Willmes presses installed in the US and over 10,000 installed globally.

“The reality is that presses sit dormant for nine to 10 months out of the year. They can be stored well, but they need to be able to start up and go when needed,” points out Damon Dudley, General Manager of Scott Laboratories Equipment, Parts & Service Department. “Willmes is one of the heaviest presses of its size. It has proven longevity. Machine parts will not bend or tweak over time and are built to withstand excess heat and torque… they’re going to run true. There are very, very old Willmes presses out there that are still running today.”

What are the other keys to Willmes’ success? Long-term relationships with customers and suppliers are necessary in order to deliver. Through continuous innovation and improvement, listening to customers’ needs and requirements for 70+ years, together Willmes and Scott Labs are driven by a deep-rooted collaboration, passion for the wine industry, and desire to help customers maintain quality at the highest possible level – from vineyard to bottle.

For more information on the Willmes wine press and Scott Laboratories, go to: https://scottlab.com/willmes.

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