We believe bottling is a most critical step in the transfer of the fruits of our harvest labor and the barrel aging process to the wine in your glass.
Follow our process and check out our videos of the bottling in action…
1. Throughout the wine's maturation in barrel, we devote time for extensive blind tasting of each barrel to
determine our barrel blends - that is, the best fit barrels for "728", "Lollapalooza" and "Doyle".
2. During its aging process in our French oak barrels, the wine has naturally clarified and the natural
grape solids have fallen to the bottom of the barrel.
3. The crystal-clear wine is racked (or decanted) off the sediment (natural grape and yeast solids) to our
stainless steel tanks to marry together the nuances of each barrel into one master blend. This ensures
every bottle is exactly the same.
4. Now that the wine is prepared with the utmost care to not introduce excess oxygen, the bottling
5. The empty wine bottles (referred to as "glass")
are carefully "dumped" out of their cases and
are escorted via a conveyor belt through the line.
They are "picked up" into a circular wheel, inverted
and sparged with inert gas (nitrogen) to displace air
and cardboard dust.
6. The wine is transferred to the filler bowl, and the bottles are then fed into the filler wheel where spouts enter
each bottle and deliver 750 ml of wine (plus a few extra drips!)
headspace, just before a cork is mechanically squeezed and plunged into the neck of the bottle, leaving
the top of the cork exactly level with the top of the bottle.
8. The corked bottle is mechanically “topped” with our
custom-designed tin capsules, tapped and fed into
the spinner heads which stretch and mold the loose
capsule to the neck of the bottle.
labels (which are vacuum held onto a belt until the bottle passes by), at which time the adhesive on the labels
grabs the bottles in a very specific, electronically set placement.
10. The labeled bottles pass to the quality control
station where two people examine every bottle for
correct fill height, cork & capsule quality, label
position and appearance, and glass quality before
returning the finished, filled bottles back into their
original box so that the cork is “neck down” in its
final resting position. To ensure we have full
cases, the first in line packs 6 bottles only and
passes the box to the second QC station where
the remaining 6 slots are filled.
11. The box is fed into the tape machine and
stamped with our winery bond number and the
bottling date. Another wine label is squarely
positioned on the outside of the box for
identification and the boxes are stacked on a
pallet in a well-defined configuration with
14 cases per row and 56 cases per pallet.
Changing the bottle size requires changing all of the feed wheels on the bottling line and definitely
slows down the process.
13. 3-Liter and 5-Liter bottles are filled, corked and labeled by hand….and so are some of our magnums!
It is a lot of hard work to get it right, but our wine is ALWAYS taken care of and our meticulous and energetic crew ALWAYS gets a great lunch! Team work is the name of our game!