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Discussion in 'Commercial Winery Forum' started by HymnandHerd, Jan 5, 2019.
east of Pittsburgh
Thanks for replying. How long have you been commercial? I purchased two 300 Liter stainless this past weekend from a guy who accrued them from a winery. I've also been speaking to a few wineries that are closing. They want to try to sell all equipment to one buyer but have offered me first chance at items if they cant sell everything together.
Sorry I just saw the rest of the thread
we are on our 4th year. Its a lot to learn. Having a good wine to sell is very important, but just as important is HOW you sell the wine. We learned that an all grapey tasting line up won't sell (all the wines compete with each other). Vary your line up. We now do many different fruit wines and blends. Different is good. Don't be afraid to go over the top. Put yourself out there. Try different presentations, try different wines. Do farmer's markets - they are a great place to test out your wines and don't cost a lot to do.
Hi, I know this is the winery board, so I assume I know the answer to this, but have to ask: did you go through all of the official licensing for your business, or is this under the table? I get the boot-strapping, and I'm really inspired, I just can't imagine all the red tape for 60 cases...
Background: I'm dreaming up my 5 year plan...
I got all the licenses. Federal, State and Local. Now it's just maintenance, so renewing licensing and keeping my TTB and ILCC paperwork up to date is my red tape burden. I suppose I had more time than sense (Depending on who you ask, I have little to spare of either). If I had taken the time that I spent getting licensed and picked up a shift or two at McDonald's I would have made way more money per hour. But money wasn't the only reason I took the plunge.
This year My production should be quite a bit higher, and I'm hoping we'll be closer to the 90 case mark this year, and then well over 100 for the next one. In part thanks to my low overhead(and the fact that I am not counting my labor), I was able to turn a profit last year.
Have all federal & state licenses also. We sold 1200 bottles last year through a restaurant in the same building. Our 'winery' is about 400 sq ft. including storage. We use buckets and carboys, scheduling & workflow is critical. Cannot imagine trying bigger vessels, we would have to move to grow! 90% of our bottles have been recycled, de-labelling is the worst job! we use a weatherproof laser label that lasts about 5 cycles before needing new (about 90 % of the bottles come back from the restaurant). Just splashed out on an 'allinone' vacuum pump for racking and bottling, that should save a bit of time and will pay for itself fairly quickly. Have 10 carboys clearing, 10 buckets fermenting, 600 bottles stored, waiting to be sterilised and filled again, 400 bottles on racks, and am planning the next batches. We will start marketing/sales stuff through social media one day, and one day will get paid, this project just made it into the black. Yes McD's pays better, but its not yours....
I don't believe a commercial winery operation is allowed to recycle bottles.
from research, I cannot find anywhere that dictates that. There are several companies who take used wine bottles, delabel and clean them, and re-supply them to wineries.
Reusing wine bottles uses 5% of the carbon footprint of a new bottle. They may not be that much cheaper, have not researched that yet, but can see needing more bottles soon. who knows, maybe I'll start my own bottle reuse company, over 70% of used wine bottles go to the landfill, its a real waste.
Glad to hear there are companies out there that are doing this. Main concern is ensuring the used bottles are cleaned and sanitized, which is equipment wineries don't usually stock. The health Dept would definitely be concerned otherwise.
From a winery's perspective on getting cleaned, sanitized bottles from a legit company, I'd still have concerns about matching bottles in the cases and any structural defects. Much better piece of mind just to buy new bottles for me.
This pretty much sums it up and makes it unsurprising that they are reusing bottles.
LOL, see the thread here on closing the gap between commercial and amateur wine. This place is helping close the gap going the other way!
I've helped out at a local vineyard, they don't reuse wine bottles or the boxes. They take the bottles and boxes to the local dump. The owner stated that it's a health safety issue and state ordinance doesn't allow it. Plus they don't want to risk anything going wrong. Their very own #vineyarddog Timber and Frontenac Blanc harvest volunteers made @Wineenthusiast Magazine’s Feb/March 2020 issue when their vineyard was featured in one of their articles! They grow Cold Climate grapes like Marquette, Frontenac Red and White, Petit Pearl, and a couple of other varieties. https://www.facebook.com/youngbloodvineyard/?tn-str=k*F
There are a few organic milk producers who use recycled glass, ?? ? rules tend to be uniform from food to food ? ? ? humm ?
Reasons why the uncle stopped doing milk in glass
1) plastics and paperboard became cheap in the late 50’s
2) cost of labor, the method fit better when they had delivery routes
3) breakage of glass
In dairy cleaning isn’t an issue, and milk has a larger health risk than wine. In wine bottles I have recycled the top 2 issues are labels and dried gunk when they’re not rinsed.
I buy my milk in glass bottles.
I'm a little late to the party. My advice is always to plan for 4 times bigger than you are thinking.
We started with 2x200L and 2x300L steel tanks and produced about 50 cases. The second year we were up to 500 cases with several more 300L tanks, several 600L tanks. By year three, over 1,000 cases produced and now we have 1 2000L tank, 7 1000L tanks, 5 600L tanks, 5 300L tanks, 3 200L tanks, 4 70 gal flex tanks, and several other poly tanks for temporary use ranging from 100 gallons to 210 gallons. We ferment things with pulp in half ton totes generally and I have 7 of those. Careful what you wish for.
Some may call this sacrilege I use 4 gal PET water carboys. I have about 40 of them. Easier on my back and free. I do about 200 gal per year now.
It's amazing you are able to use only 4 gallon carboys. I have to use all sizes to have them topped up properly.
Logistical Question: I'm considering getting a variable 50 gl., stainless steel fermenter for the coming season because I'm going to be at that capacity. I like my glass carboys, but they're becoming a tripping hazard. I realized, however, that if you need to rack off gross lees, you need to rack INTO something. When you have these large tanks, what do your rack into when you're working with your wine? Carboys? Your primary fermenter? An empty stainless steel tank? (That seems like a waste of tank space if you're only using it for transfer a few days a year). I'm trying to figure this one out. You seem to have lots of experience with the different sizes, so I'm curious.
We still transfer to 6 gal glass carboys to maintain better control when sweetening. Plus we don't have the room to bottle an entire tank.
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