Tradition and technology go hand-in-hand for this grape grower

While fifth-generation grape grower Simon Tolley is a self-confessed traditionalist, the Adelaide Hills vigneron knows that innovating is essential to business growth – especially when faced with ongoing industry and climatic challenges. And having been an AME customer for over 13 years, Simon relies on new technology to stay efficient and productive.

As a diverse business spanning vineyard management, wine business consulting, a cellar door and accommodation, work at Simon Tolley Wines never stops. Naturally, that means Simon and his team need robust equipment that can keep up.

Already equipped with the FMR R Series Recycling Sprayer and various undervine management tools, as well as an ERO Pre-Pruner, cane sweeper, and de-sucker unit, Simon is no stranger to embracing the latest technology.

So when it was time to upgrade the cool-climate vineyard’s trusty ERO 6200 harvester, the ERO 7200 harvester was an obvious choice.

“I was keen to access new technological innovations that would help progress the business – in terms of improved speed between vineyards, getting the best fruit sample, and ease of harvest,” Simon says.

“The small changes to the machine have helped improve the flow of the fruit through the unit, and there’s also a lot less wastage because it’s a lot cleaner.”

Simon also points out that by simply tweaking the distance between sorting table rollers on the go (a far less cumbersome job compared to other machines) there’s less downtime – which means more jobs can be done in one day.

“It’s early days and we’re still learning about the machine’s many capabilities,” he says.

“We’ve just been so lucky to get to trial the new equipment – it’s been a real catalyst for our business.”

Beyond the obvious (and yet-to-be-seen) advantages of the new machine, Simon also appreciates the support he gets from the AME team:

“They’re always on hand to help with the setup and configuring it to your unique environment,” he says.

“And if anything were to go wrong, they’re quick to act and are incredibly experienced.”

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