Originally Posted by Runningwolf
The secret to getting people to help is have everything 100% ready when they get there. . . so you can start filling bottles immediately. Let them sample as you work and afterwards let them smple from other carboys. Do most of the clean up yourself if they don't offer. Make it fun not work for them and they'll keep coming back. Don't forget to send them home with some wine also.
You are right about that! I had my bottling day 2 weekends ago, and we bottled 34 gallons in 2 hours. Could not have done it without my bottling crew. I always feed them first (steaks or our homemade pizza), sample wine as we go, then give them some wine to take home.
Like you, we're ready. We have lists at every workstation showing the order of bottling. The carboys are in chronological order, and numbered to match the list. Each case of bottles is designated for a specific wine, and that wine's label is affixed to the box. Also with the box is a sandwich bag with the labels and shrink capsules for that wine. With 2 bottling stations (enolmatic and vacuum pump bottling setup), it gets a little crazy at times. The vacuum pump is a tad slower than the Enolmatic, but it speeds up the overall workflow. We had two people running one corker (we talked about maybe adding a corker), one doing shrink capsules, 2 doing labels (sometimes we have 3 labelers), and a floater, retrieving bottles, etc. There were 9 of us in all. All but the labelers are in the kitchen, so it's crowded. My wfe and I do clean up after they leave. This last time, it would have been better to have 1-2 more people there.
The nice thing about having so many to help is it gets done fast, and no one gets really tired. Well, I do, after cleanup.
Everyone wants to help again. We had 2 newbies this last time, and they loved it. I actually put the new guy on the Enolmatic, gave him 30 second tutorial, and turned him loose. He was scared to death! 10 minutes later, he acted like he'd been doing it all his life..