Bottling Season has begun

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JohnT

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To everything there is a season.

A time to crush and a time to press,
A time to MLF and a time to Oak,
A time to rack and a time to bottle.

Guess what time it is now.. Yup, it is bottling season. The time when the snows have melted and the weather has warmed.

We ended up bottling just shy of 31 cases. We ran with only one bottle filler and had a crew of only five people

- one to sanitize the bottles who feeds empty bottles to...
- one person that adjusts each bottle to the right level (one finger above the shoulder of the bottle) who feeds filled bottles to...
- one person that cork and washes each bottle who feeds clean corked bottles to..
- one person that wipes each bottle dry and hand each bottle to...
- one person that crates and marks each case.

Each had an assigned role but we ended trading jobs every now and then so that it did not get too boring.

We bottled out a 225 liter / 59 gallon barrel (American oak / med toast). This was a three-way blend of cab, merlot, and petit sarah that was aged on oak for 14 months. We also bottled a demijohn of the exact same wine that was not barrel aged (to be used as a comparison).

This was the fourth year of use for the barrel and it is still giving off decent wood flavor. The barrel has really held up well. She is still sexy even after 4 years of use.

After we finished bottling, I gave the barrel a good interior cleaning (I have a spray wand), drained it, and tossed in 5 gallons of hot/strong k-meta solution. I then bunged the keg and let that sit for 30 minutes to let the SO2 do it's magic, sloshing the barrel every few minutes. While waiting, we gave the barrel a good external scrubbing and finally remembered to sanp a pic (see below)

After draining out the k-meta, we pumped the 2016 reserve out of the tank and into the barrel, one demijohn, and 2 half gallon top off jugs.

All told, bottling 31 cases and racking/barreling the 2016 reserve took about 3 1/2 hours. Not bad since we are all "out of practice" and running only one filler.

AHHH bottling season... Parties, Food, and FUN!!!

IMG952775.jpg
 

bkisel

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So you're one of those binge wine makers! Glad the bottling "season" went well.
 

JohnT

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So you're one of those binge wine makers! Glad the bottling "season" went well.

Bottling season usually lasts until the end of August. Each year we normally have 5 or 6 sessions.

This session was to free up a 300l tank for Chilean and also to supply the niece with wine for her wedding.
 

bkisel

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Bottling season usually lasts until the end of August. Each year we normally have 5 or 6 sessions.

This session was to free up a 300l tank for Chilean and also to supply the niece with wine for her wedding.
Different than what I was thinking.

One of my wine making friends buys juice in the fall from a local winery and brings everything forward together. Next fall he starts all over again; I refer to my friend Don as a "binge" wine maker.

I couldn't find an antonym for "binge" so I don't know what kind of wine maker I'd call myself and others like me who make wine year round often having multiple batches in different phases being processed alongside one another.
 

Johny99

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I couldn't find an antonym for "binge" so I don't know what kind of wine maker I'd call myself and others like me who make wine year round often having multiple batches in different phases being processed alongside one another.
Happily obsessed:db
 

JohnT

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Different than what I was thinking.

One of my wine making friends buys juice in the fall from a local winery and brings everything forward together. Next fall he starts all over again; I refer to my friend Don as a "binge" wine maker.

I couldn't find an antonym for "binge" so I don't know what kind of wine maker I'd call myself and others like me who make wine year round often having multiple batches in different phases being processed alongside one another.
Bill,

LOL,

There is no way that I could "binge it".

I make wine mostly in the fall, but also do about 300 liters in the spring (Chilean). All from whole fresh grapes.

I then bulk age for 18 months or so.

It takes 4 or 5 serious sessions for me to bottle out a vintage. Each time I HAVE to have a crew of at least 5 people in order to make a difference. Bottling is the real work. The crush and pressing are parties by comparison.
 

4score

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Hi John,

Our bottling process is similar. We have a "bunch" of wine so we've broken our plan into three bottling sessions (30 gallons, 60, 60).

The first one will likely be in June....it's getting hard to find free time on my helpers calendars!

We also use World Cooperage. Great barrels, great service and a very reasonable price!

Good luck with the remainder of your bottling.

Mark
 

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