Bottling is always one of the hardest most stressful things we do. There are over a dozen different vendors to coordinate with and everything has to be timed just right. It’s also hard because we do it just twice per year so getting experience for us and the crew has been a process that takes years.
This time we’ve also been fighting the weather and have had to reschedule twice around rain. We just don’t have enough room inside to stage everything indoors and that means rain is a deal breaker.
Stefania and I came up yesterday to prep the wine and get it ready. We’re doing a small lot of two wines. Our 2010 Haut Tubee and a new wine we will release this fall. There was a small amount of blending to do and Stefania had to check final SO2 on the wines so I could make the right additions. Other than the drain backing up on us it went smoothly.
The forklift showed up at 8:30 and I got that positioned and ready. The truck showed up at 12:30 with the empty glass and this is when I knew we’re finally at the point of being veteran bottlers. The driver had forgotten to load a pallet jack and had no idea how to get the 1000 pounds of glass from the front of the truck to the back where the forklift could pick it up.
“No problem”, I said. “I’ve had this happen before, I’ll show you what to do.” So I went in the winery and pulled out my strongest rope that we keep for just this emergancy. I showed him how to tie up a pallet and pull it out of a truck with the forklift.
Everything was wrapped up by 2:30 and we were able to get a late lunch and some hot tub time in last night. This morning came really early:
53 degrees and 5:30 am when we hit the road. We’re waiting now in the winery for the bottling truck to finish setting up. If all goes well we will start about 8:30. We’re using a small crew today. Stefania, Millie, Ingrid, Jaye and I. Another veteran thing we’ve learned. It’s actually better to have a small experienced crew than a large one that needs lots of hand holding.
I’ll be busy most of the day so probably won’t have too many pictures, but I’ll try and get some as we bottle and get them up before Friday.