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Calaveras Grape Grower Invents Groundbreaking New Product

Posted on September 04, 2013

San Andreas, CA—Winegrower Stephen Collum of Calaveras County’s Vineyard Concepts LLC announces the production of a groundbreaking new product that will help dramatically increase the quality of fruit delivered from the vineyard to the winery known as the Concept Cover. It is a reflective shield that when placed over a freshly-picked bin of grapes can maintain the temperature the fruit was harvested at for hours.

Collum says, “One of our best trials came by chance when a truck carrying freshly harvested grapes was en route from the Sierra foothills to the coast when the truck broke down along the highway. Some of the bins had been covered right after the fruit was picked that morning, other bins were not. As his truck sat for several hours waiting for repair, the bins were exposed to daytime temperatures in the 90s. More than six hours later as the fruit arrived at its destination, the covered bins found the fruit to have maintained temperatures at 55-58 degrees, while the uncovered bins were reaching the 90s.”

Heat damage can make or break the quality of fruits and vegetables; causing product damage, challenging vintner-grower relationships and loss of revenue. While invented to keep early-morning harvested wine grapes at their peak, the product has clear application to other produce as well. Researchers at the University of California extension have conducted numerous trials on the product. Concept Covers are reusable and easy to clean.

“The covers satisfy the protective requirements for transporting fruit through quarantine restricted regions, and the coming guidelines of the food safety act,” he said.

Concept Covers are proudly made in California; the covers are available in either a heavy woven material at a standard bin size priced at $38 per unit or one made from a heavier insulated material at $41 per unit. Stock is on-hand and ready to ship. Custom sizes can be produced easily.

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