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Fog Crest Vineyard
 
August 10, 2014 | Fog Crest Vineyard News | Fog Crest Vineyard

Bottling Day

In a couple of weeks we'll be bottling - always an exciting time when our wine goes into bottle. We thought you might be interested in knowing some of the details and preparations that need to be addressed before the big day.

Here at Fog Crest Vineyard we use a mobile bottling truck. As they are in great demand by so many wineries, we need to schedule it a good 4-5 months in advance. All the technology comes to us, but we still have to be ready with supplies on hand like bottles, labels, foils and corks. We need to have all those materials ordered, produced and ready on site a  week before the scheduled bottling. The bottling truck brings its own labor but we generally have a few people of our own scheduled to help as well.

wine bottling

Additionally, a couple of weeks prior to the bottling date the wine to be bottled needs to be racked, or moved,  from barrels to its assigned tank. Each wine to be bottled gets its own tank, preferably one that is the appropriate size for the volume and will be full.  If not quite full, nitrogen is used as the inert gas when bottling to fill the void. It is preferred when using  a vessel you can seal because it won't go into solution under low pressure like CO2 can. CO2 is preferred when the vessel can't be sealed because it is 1.5x heavier than air and will form a "blanket on top off the wine".   A pump  pulls wine from the barrels, making sure the hose doesn't get too close to the bottom of the barrels so as not to suck the lees out with the wine.  Generally, we then take all partial barrels at the end of the process and make one big "lees barrel".  That juice will be used to top other barrels in the future. Once in the tank the wine has some time to settle and get used to the new environment before bottling.

Next post will discuss the types of bottles available and why we make the choices we do.  Cheers!

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