19 March 2010

Bottling has arrived!

Bottles, cases, pallets everywhere!  And the noise!  Okay I dramatize but I was feeling that way.  Actually right now everything is cleaned up, put away and looking very tidy.  That is always soothing to my soul.  As far as bottling the 2009 Riesling and 2009 Muller Thurgau are in the bottle and half of the 2009 Seven.  The rest of the Seven, as well as the 2009 Pinot Gris, will be bottled in two weeks when the remainder of the glass arrives.  Overall the process of bottling isn't particularly unique.  We do own our own line, not all small wineries have that luxury, which makes it easier for us to set our own schedule.  Bottling takes a five person crew and we can bottle about 2 cases (24 bottles) a minute if everything is running well, in an average day we can do 14 pallets or 784 cases or 9408 bottles.  Okay, now I wish I hadn't worked that out.  Ugh! 
The glass bottles get blown out using nitrogen gas, are placed on the conveyor belt and filled while going around the carousel.  As the bottles come off the carousel the level of wine in the bottle is checked and set by gas, again nitrogen, and finally the cork is inserted.  After the bottles are returned to the conveyor belt they travel to the end where two people wipe them clean, check them for flaws or problems and put them in the box cork down if you are curious.  The flawed ones get returned to the beginning of the line for fixing.  Finally the boxes are stacked on a pallet and stored until it is time to label the wine for you to purchase!

Outside the winery we had a neat visit from a few elk, they stayed on the neighbor's side of the fence so I don't have a great picture but it was amazing to see them.  Grasping their size is always difficult and part of what makes them so grand. Also outside the winery but inside the fence there is plenty of spring cleaning and planting going on as well.  The dam has been covered in compost and a hundred plus plants have been put in the ground; grasses, shrubs and flowers abound.  Well there will be flowers, they aren't blooming yet.  I look forward to their growth, I think the bank is going to look amazing this summer and next year . . . I can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment