1928 – A GOOD VINTAGE
FERTILE GROUND FOR OUTSTANDING WINES AND OUTSTANDING IDEAS
SCHARFENBERGER MASCHINENBAU WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1928 AS A SMALL FAMILY ENTERPRISE, IN THE HEART OF THE PALATINATE, GERMANY’S SECOND LARGEST WINE-GROWING REGION
1928 The company’s beginnings
The foundation stone for our company was laid more than 85 years ago in Wachenheim, at the heart of one of Germany’s largest wine-growing regions. In economically and politically troubled times, Franz Scharfenberger and his wife Katharina showed a great deal of entrepreneurial courage, setting up a metal workshop specializing in repairing viticulture appliances.
1949 Close connections to viticulture from the very outset
Over the years, Scharfenberger increasingly specialized in developing viticulture appliances for use in vineyards – adapted to the needs of our customers. For example, the company invented the so-called “Vintner’s Horse”, which could be equipped with either a plough or a sprayer, according to requirements.
1958 Grape processing systems
Building on the company’s experience in the area of viticulture technology, our own production unit for planning and manufacturing grape delivery, storage and processing systems was set up around 1950.
1963 Company relocation
Expanding production meant the company had to relocate within the town of Wachenheim, moving to the new buildings on Weinstrasse in 1963.
1971 The first "Europress" – a milestone in our corporate history
The development of our Europress grape press in the early 1970s expanded our range of grape processing systems. This press was the first fully automatic, electronically controlled press with an exterior spindle.
In retrospect, this marked an important step for the future development of our company. Even more than 30 years after it was introduced onto the market, the Europress still forms the vital heart of our activities. Our strong market position today is due to our customers’ trust in the constantly high quality and modern technology, our trusting relations to our customers and sales partners in all of Germany’s wine-growing regions and worldwide, and also our reliable customer service.
1976 Establishment of our own electronics department
As the controls are an essential and extremely sensitive element of every grape press, we set up our own electronics department in 1976. Our experienced and competent staff develop, program and produce our electronic control systems all year round.
1980 The dawning of a new era: Braud grape harvesters
Our takeover of the general agency for Braud grape harvesters was another step towards rounding off our product family. We have now been exclusively distributing and servicing the grape harvesters in Germany for more than 25 years.
1981 The first pneumatic Europress with central in-fill
After a two-year development phase, we launched the first pneumatic Europress in 1981 – at that time the only grape press with central in-feed available on the market. The predecessor of today’s Europress, ensured outstandingly gentle processing of the grapes, from its beginning almost 25 years ago.
1988 The Europress comes of age
Our Europress finally reached adult size with the sale of the first 25,000-liter press to California, USA. The Europress is now mass-produced with a capacity of up to 32,000 liters.
1992 The first Europress tank press EHT
To grant our customers more flexibility in their selection of a press system, we have been offering the Europress as a closed system EHT since 1992.
1993 Relocation to Bad Dürkheim
Rising demand, particularly for large-scale presses, meant the company had to relocate its production plant, which had been based in Wachenheim for 65 years. In 1993, the new premises were complete, and on June 30th work began in the new, modern production facilities and offices on the Bad Dürkheim industrial estate – today’s corporate headquarters. In the course of the subsequent eight years, we increased our manufacturing figures to over 200 grape presses per year.
1995 Europress with intelligent controls
Another of Scharfenberger’s innovations with an enduring influence on the technologies of the grape press market is the Europress “intelligent control system” launched in 1995. Developed and manufactured entirely within our electronics department, this control system allows customers to adjust the press program individually to their specific needs and conditions, achieving an optimal press performance.
2001 R+S Kelterhaus und Kellereitechnologie GmbH
To meet rising demand for complete grape processing facilities, we founded a joint-venture winery technology company with Rieger Behälterbau, Bietigheim-Bissingen, in March 2001: R+S Kelterhaus und Kellereitechnologie GmbH.
Backed by the experience and expertise of two long-standing companies from within the industry, R+S projects, plans, implements and services all-round crush facility installations, covering all areas from grape delivery to wine storage.
2001 Technological innovation Europress EHS: two systems – one press
The launch of the Europress EHS type at the Intervitis 2001 trade show marked a further successful venture in the field of modern grape processing. The EHS model is a dual press system, i.e. customers can press using an open or closed system, depending on their requirements and preferences. The externally mounted juice channels can be quickly and easily removed, granting our customers maximum long-term flexibility in their selection of a press system. Thanks to its many advantages, the Europress EHS has since become our top-selling press model.
2003 75 years of Scharfenberger Maschinenbau
The year 2003 was a very special one for us: on March 21st, we celebrated our company’s 75th anniversary with all our staff and business partners!
2003 Belt destemming machine EuroSelect
The 2003 introduction of our innovative belt destemming machine, EuroSelect, added a high-quality appliance for gentle grape processing to our product family. We developed the destemming machine with a novel system of functions for gentle transport, destemming and selection of grapes. The EuroSelect was awarded the Innovation Prize in Gold at the Intervitis Interfructa 2004 trade show.
2004 Extension of the product family
Alongside the innovative destemmer EuroSelect, our product range was extended in 2004 to include even more products for gentle grape processing, which we also presented at Intervitis for the first time. These include transport belts, selection tables, vibrating dosing hoppers, grape crushers and vertical presses.
2004 Premiere on the grape press market
A further highlight of 2004 was the production of two EHM 320 – the largest ever pneumatic grape presses with half-open drum anywhere in the world. The 32,000-liter-capacity presses are in operation at the cooperative Goldenes Rheinhessen in Bornheim/Germany and Smith & Hook in California, USA.
2005 New Europress series
Nearly 25 years after the first run of our Europress membrane press open style we are pleased to present the new Europress series, including nine different sizes from 6 to 60 hl and available as open style, closed style and dual system. Starting at 20 hl, the press can be equipped optionally with a pneumatic door. Another option is the frequency driven motor. The programs of the press have been more detailed and tuned.
2007 Cold pressed! - Europress Cool with cooling jacket
With the new Europress-Cool you can cool the grapes before and during the pressing cycle. Negative temperature influences can be excluded and you keep cool even if the harvest should be to hot again.
2008 Presentation of the new whole Cluster conveyor
2009 Scharfenberger takes over R+S
On 20th. June 2009 R+S Kelterhaus und Kellereitechnologie GmbH became a part of our enterprise and is now 100 % owned by Scharfenberger. This means that the Scharfenberger team, in particular Reinhard Pikl and Egon Zimmermann, are available as your partners for the planning and realisation of complete winery solutions - from reception of the grapes through to the wine storage areas.
2010 35 Years of BRAUD Grape harvesters
In celebration of "35 years of BRAUD Grape Harvesters", Scharfenberger has been commended by NewHolland BRAUD for the long cooperation, sales of over 1,000 grape harvesters, and the best after-sales service department.
2011 Marketing of Sthik Grape trailers
With the addition of Sthik grape trailers, to our range in Autumn 2011, we are now able to offer our customers complete processing lines from the grape harvest through all stages of processing.
2012 New: Europress Inert-Gas
Presentation of the new Europress with inert-gas installation. The pressing operation takes place in an inert atmosphere - atmospheric oxygen is excluded.
2012 The first Scharfenberger Symposium
This event features lectures and the latest research results on the subject of "Grape juice pasteurisation as a quality assurance measure", and also covers practical experience with a modern flash-pasteurisation plant with subsequent specialist discussions.
2014 The second Scharfenberger Symposium
We welcomed numerous guests to our second Scharfenberger-Symposium. Our guest speaker Prof. Dr. Dominik Durner from the Wine Campus Neustadt a.d. Weinstrasse explained the basic principles and advantages of inert gas pressing in his lecture.
2015 A lot of room for technical competence
In March 2015 our Electronics department staff moved to new, modern rooms. The larger, brighter environment offers our employees in this department better possibilities for developing, programming, producing and testing control systems.