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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Beast

Finally. After corking 4 vintages manually, we have bought a pneumatic corker. No, it isn't any faster than our home winemaker's floor corker pictured below that served faithfully over 40,000 bottles. Yes, it will pay for itself in chiropractic savings and general quality of life at the end of the day. We bottle our own wines, unlike most wineries that hire mobile services. We glue our own labels by hand if they are not hand-placed self-adhesives, front and back, on non-silk screened bottles (we have 100 cases of Syrah and 150 of Chardonnay to label right now with glue, 210 cases of Muscat and Rosato with stickers). We use a six-spout filler, then down to the corker, then to the capsuler. Usually it is just two people working, so there are two people for three stations, but without a big red corker in the middle of the floor blocking traffic flow, our little line runs much more smoothly. We can bottle 150 cases comfortably in about 8 hours, so though it is my most hated task, it really is just part of the game - and you get to know that we crushed, pressed, barreled, racked, and bottled every darn bottle.

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