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Choosing Bottle Style

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VictorV

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Hi Everyone,
Fairly new winemaker here in Caldwell ID. For our 2019 Syrah I bought new bottles from Amazon and they worked fine although a little pricey.
As I start to think about this year's harvest I started wondering about where to source bottles since I'll be producing 30-40 cases this year.
My question is what factors affect the type of bottle used? There seems to be so many styles and colors. I'll be making both reds and whites
and would like to use the same bottle for both for maximum flexibility. I was looking at Wine and was
a bit overwhelmed by the number of selections available.

Victor
 

CDrew

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Just my opinion but uniformity of bottles is nice for stacking purposes-even if the bottle type does not match the type of wine. A good source of surplus (unused) bottles is Napa Fermentation supplies. They sell bottles that were purchased but not used by local wineries and sell them for $6 per case. This is about the best I have seen and I just bought 30 matching cases yesterday. Don't know about shipping though.

I also like Bordeaux style bottles more than Burgundy/Rhone style bottles. I also like straight sides which makes the bottles stack better-remember some Bordeaux bottles have a slight slope. I also favor the dark "antique green glass" as opposed to "green glass" which is lighter colored.

30-40 cases is a lot of wine. So I hope you are thirsty!

Good luck.
 

VictorV

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I like the idea of uniformity. I discovered during bottling of last year's vintage that once you adjust
the bottle filler you don't want to use different size bottles for the same batch. I used Antique Green
bottles this year and I think they look nice. Gotta check out the final product, though, when the
labels are applied.

Lots of wine being made this year. 1/4 ton Syrah, 1/4 ton Chardonnay and maybe 1/8 ton of Tempranillo
from my own vineyard (first vintage). We have partners so I don't have to drink it all myself :)

Victor
 

CDrew

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THe Syrah is a tough one. I have 15 gallons to bottle and still have enough Rhone style bottles to bottle that. But from now on, using bottles as described above. And BTW, for Antique green, Bordeaux style, punted, straight sided, the number stamped on all the boxes is 2103.
 

VictorV

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Our Syrah came out nice although it does not have the complexity I'd like to see due to not enough
oak. We're not using barrels yet and need to dial in the amount of oak cubes.

That's what I got for bottles this year so maybe I will just stick with that style.
 

Rocky

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I am now using exclusively Bordeaux style bottles for many of the reasons given above and I only use the straight sided bottles, not the ones with a greater diameter at the top. I use a green for red wine and a clear for white wine. I also tend toward the lighter green colored bottles because it is easier to see the wine level during bottling. Some of the very dark green bottles make it almost impossible to see the wine level. I only use cork finish bottles.
 

sour_grapes

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While my inclination was to use bottles that are typically used with the grape variety in question, I, too, have started to favor using Bordeaux-style for stacking convenience.

I bottled a Viognier this spring. I decided to (barely) backsweeten half of it, and leave half of it bone dry. I put the dry wine in Bordeaux bottles, and the sweetened in Burgundy/Rhone. Then I did not need labels! :D
 

mainshipfred

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Vote here for Antique Green Bordeaux. Although I do like to put Rhone style in Burgundy, still Antique Green, they don't stack that bad. Mostly use clear for whites and Roses.
 

winemaker81

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I figured it was pickup only. $6 is a REALLY good price, but the cost of a 5,800 mile round trip would negate that ....

Like a lot of folks, I use primarily Bordeaux bottles. When I purchase wine, if I find 2 wines that sound good ... I buy the one in the Bordeaxu bottle ....

While I have purchased bottles, that's pricey, so I have friends & family save bottles. When I built my wine making area, I installed the deepest stainless steel double sink I could locate, and it soaks labels on 8 bottles at a time.
 

mainshipfred

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I don't do a lot of de-labeling and it's mostly my own bottles but I fill a brute with Oxyclean and hot water and let the bottles fill until they sink. Leave them in a day or 2 and can get around 3 cases worth. Still more work than I care for. I have a couple of winery connections and get new for $9 - $10 a case.
 

Ike64

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I use whatever I can find at the local wineries for free. Yeah, I have to remove labels, but I have figured out which wineries have easy to remove labels.
Being of Scottish descent I get my bottles from a local winery too. I also have started choosing the wines I buy by how easily the labels come off. "Wines of Substance 'Cs'" is my current personal favorite. ;)
 

Rocky

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I have enjoyed reading of other winemakers' experiences here. I used to collect bottles from friends and re-use them but my growing lassitude ended that. Still, I remember the differences in the adhesives used by various wineries. It always seemed to me that the Australians used the toughest glue on their labels and the Italians used the easiest. The material used on the label was also important and labels that were part vinyl seemed to come off easier than paper labels. In some cases with vinyl labels, all I had to do was fill the bottle with hot water and the heat softened the adhesive to the point where the label would come off in one piece. The one thing I could not understand was when wineries used different adhesives on the main label than they did on secondary labels. As an old Manufacturing Engineer and Purchasing Director, it did not make sense, at least on the surface. I allow that their could have been extenuating circumstances which made the differences cost effective. I just can't see any off the top of my head.
 

winemaker81

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The one thing I could not understand was when wineries used different adhesives on the main label than they did on secondary labels.
For imports, it's common that the winery puts the front label on, while the back label is put on by a shipper/agent.
 

winemaker81

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As Ed McMahon would have said, "I did not know that!"
It's not always obvious -- larger non-USA firms may own the winery and the shipper, and may label batches of wine specifically for export to the USA, doing all labels at once. Smaller wineries will go through a shipper/agent and the name may be listed on the back label, especially when the front and back labels are different.

This is in the USA -- I have no clue what US wineries do when shipping their wines outside the USA.
 

DizzyIzzy

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Being of Scottish descent I get my bottles from a local winery too. I also have started choosing the wines I buy by how easily the labels come off. "Wines of Substance 'Cs'" is my current personal favorite. ;)
I am of Scottish descent also, the MacDonald Clan. Traveled to Scotland, and the highlands, 2 years ago. Plan a return trip as soon as Americans are allowed to travel abroad. Welcome to the forum.....................................................Dizzy
 

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