By this time in the year the traditional harvest is done, even when it runs late. The grapes have been stomped and the fermentation is in full swing. The leaves on the vines are starting to turn gold and brown, a great time to go out and snip some vines for grape vine wreathes. The only thing left now is the bottling.
For small vineyard owners and winemakers this can be some of the most labor-intensive work in all of winemaking. A few very small wineries still hand wash and sterilize their bottles and use a hand bottling system. This means you might get a few dozen bottles finished per day. Bottling by machine has various levels of efficiency and speed, which might get you to into the 100s per day. Friends, family, and neighbors are often lured in with the promise of payment in wine.
It’s one of those things we wine guzzlers, uh connoisseurs, don’t think about when we pull that cork out of a new bottle. Somebody had to push it in there in the first place. Somebody put the wine in the bottle, and somebody wrapped that foil over the top.
If you get a chance to be part of a bottling party, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss. It can be hard work, but the reward is so worth it.
Happy Wine Trails!