The Angers Wine Presses

Through the archives of the Vine and Wine Museum of Anjou, you can discover the history and evolution of the wine presses, which have been manufactured in Anjou since 1856.

By Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Joseph Vaslin (3rd Generation) in his Martigné-Briand WorkshopAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

Vaslin Wine Presses: Artisanal Production

Vaslin Horizontal Press, With Vault (1857)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

The saga of Angers wine presses began in the workshop of Joseph Vaslin, in Martigné-Briand (Maine-et-Loire). In 1857, he filed a patent for a wooden wine press with a square basket and a horizontal screwing system.

Vaslin Wine Press Exhibition (vers 1920)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

The descendents of Joseph Vaslin went on to make improvements to this basket press. In 1919, it was fitted with a round basket. In 1927, the rotating basket was introduced, boasting an automatic redigging system, which offers improved mixing for the marcs during pressing. In 1929, the presses were motorized.

Joseph Vaslin's Workshop, Martigné-Briand (1920/1930)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Extract From the Revue Universelle Internationale (1920/1930) by Revue universelle internationaleAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

Vaslin Horizontal Press (vers 1920)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Vaslin Horizontal Press (1920/1930)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Advert for the Vaslin Press (avant 1945) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

In 1945, Joseph Vaslin the third sold the patents and the business to Gaston Bernier, who founded Constructions Méca-Métalliques Chalonnaises (CMMC) in Chalonnes-sur-Loire (Maine-et-Loire).

Mass Vaslin Press Manufacturing (CMMC) (1946/1947) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

CMMC: Industrial Production

View of the Factory Workshop of Chalonnaises Construction (CMMC) (1947/1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

In 1946, entrepreneur Gaston Bernier established Constructions Méca-Métalliques Chalonnaises (CMMC) in Chalonnes-sur-Loire, so that the production of Vaslin wine presses could be industrialized.

View of the Chalonnaises Construction Assembly Workshop (vers 1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

View of the Chalonnaises Construction Assembly Workshop (vers 1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

In 1946, the company created a monorail, which allowed them to transport the presses along the production line. This system improves production and facilitates the loading of goods.

In this photograph, the basket of the wine presses is transported to the assembly workshop via the monorail.

Enterprise Chalonnaises Construction (CMMC) (vers 1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

View of the exterior of the CMMC company headquarters and of the monorail used to load the presses.

Enterprise Chalonnaises Construction (CMMC) (vers 1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Shipping Presses by Railway (après 1946) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

The monorail pass through all the workshops from the factory to the railway. The railway was the main means of shipping until 1975.
On this photograph, employees of the company pose in front of a convoy of presses departing from Chalonnes-sur-Loire.

Agricultural Machinery Convention in Paris (1959) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Innovations and Export

Enterprise Chalonnaises Construction (CMMC) (vers 1960) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

From the 1960s onward, the Research and Development department within CMMC focused on developing new manufacturing procedures for wine presses, such as this machine which allowed them to produce fiberglass on-site for making new press baskets.

Delivery of a Vaslin Horizontal Press (vers 1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Gradually, Gaston Bernier developed an international dealer network in parallel with a system of subsidiaries. Italy, Germany, Japan … CMMC exports its innovations around the world.

Delivery of a Vaslin Horizontal Press (vers 1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Enterprise Chalonnaises Construction (CMMC) (1954) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Dispatching presses via the railway, departing from the Chalonnes-sur-Loire train station in 1954.

Vaslin presses—Veritas Model (vers 1960) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Vaslin presses on the port of Marseille in the 1960s. They ready for shipment to Corsica.

Vaslin Kooperative 65-Style Press (vers 1959) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

These Koopérative style models were manufactured for export to Eastern Europe in 1959.

Agricultural Machinery Convention in Paris (1963) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Constantly Evolving Presses

Horizontal Press With Rotating Cage, From Vaslin (CMMC) (1945/1950) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

From 1946, the Vaslin Perfecta press model was fitted with rotating wooden baskets. The press has interior chains, which stop the grapes from sticking to the basket during pressing.

Horizontal Press With Rotating Cage, From Vaslin (CMMC) (1946) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

This horizontal press with a rotating basket and automatic redigging was one of the first to be released by the production lines of Constructions Chalonnaises (CMMC) in 1946. Built at a time when raw materials were in short supply, it was produced with recycled materials.

Vaslin Horizontal Press—Perfecta Model (après 1947) by Frédéric Froger constructeurAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

The company Frédéric Froger holds the patent for the Perfecta horizontal press. In 1947, CMMC took over production of this rotation, double-pressured press.

Vaslin Horizontal Press with Rotating Cage (vers 1952) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Evolution of Perfecta, the Cepdor wine press model was developed in 1952. It included a few improvements: the gearbox and automatic stop of the press at the end of pressing.
This 925 gallon (35-hectoliter) press with programming was intended for cooperatives.

Horizontal Press (1952/1960) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Cooperative-Style Vaslin Press by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Over the 1950s, Vaslin's Coopérative press range was developed. It marked the beginning of yellow presses, with fiberglass baskets and sheet metal bases. The company developed high-volume presses 1,585 gallon (60 hectolitres), which paved the way into new international markets, amongst cooperatives and large winemaking estates.

Agricultural Machinery Convention in Paris (1959) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Gaston Bernier (on the center) presents a Vaslin press during the Agricultural Machinery Convention in Paris, in 1959.

Cooperative 65-Style Vaslin Press (vers 1960) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Coopérative 65 horizontal presses set up as part of a series in a winemaking cooperative in Charentes, in the 1960s.

Vaslin Press—Veritas Model (1961) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Vaslin Veritas 22 Model Press (vers 1970) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

The Vaslin Véritas press are symbolic of wine presses making the transition to total automation. Pre-programming freed winemakers from the restrictions of constantly monitoring the press.

In this photo taken in the 1970s, the Véritas is set up in a private wine cellar. Following maceration in the tank, the grapes are transferred to the press via a raised conveyor belt.

Vaslin Electronic Press, Veritas Model (1970/1975) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Advertisement in the 1970s for the Vaslin Véritas electronic press, boasting four pressing programs.

Electronic Press With Round Doors (1977) by Constructions chalonnaises (CMMC)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

The PA model was developed in 1975, and was an evolution of the Véritas model. It was fitted with circular doors, and no longer required manual intervention during filling and emptying.

Bucher Vaslin Press, PHP 35S Model (1986) by Bucher VaslinAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

The Cep and PHP ranges offered new features, including fully automated filling and more efficient draining. These models were the latest mechanical models developed by CMMC.

Draining and Pressing Center, CEP Model, Bucher Vaslin (1980/2006) by Bucher VaslinAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

Bucher Vaslin Company by Bucher VaslinAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

From CMMC to Bucher Vaslin

Vaslin Bucher Press Assembly Workshop (vers 1986) by Bucher VaslinAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

In 1986, Swiss group Bucher bought out CMMC. They chose to keep the Vaslin, name, which was well-established in the winemaking world, for its wine press section. This company purchase led to significant changes in production procedures. The new company, Vaslin Bucher, developed an unprecedented range of wine presses: pneumatic presses. However, for 10 years, they continued to produce mechanical presses.

This view of the assembly workshop shows the transition from mechanical press production (on the right) to pneumatic presses (on the left).

Worker in a Pneumatic Cage (1994)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Workers had to adapt to pneumatic presses, learning to manufacture stainless steel presses and to create polyester membranes.

New press ranges were designed and developed: Delta, RPA, XP.

Bucher Vaslin Pneumatic Press (2008) by Bucher VaslinAnjou Vine and Wine Museum

Bucher RPF30 pneumatic press being cleaned by a vineyard worker

Vaslin Horizontal Press (1920/1930)Anjou Vine and Wine Museum

Since the middle of the 19th century, Angers wine presses have been established in the winemaking world.

And history continues to evolve: located in Chalonnes-sur-Loire, the company Bucher Vaslin still produces many ranges of presses...

Credits: Story

This exhibition has been curated by the team at the Vine and Wine Museum of Anjou:

Benjamin Boué, student, studying archives, mediation and patrimony.

Karine Chevalier, Museum Director.

Héloïse Denis, Public Services.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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