Friday, April 2, 2010

Bottling and more

Monday morning started off with a bang with Landwirt Bottling. They brought a tractor trailer with the complete bottling line set-up inside. The owner, Gary Summers, showed us each step of the process, from rinsing out the bottles to filling them with wine, corking, adding capsules, and labeling. Family and friends like Barbara Bailey (left) and Janet Nichols (right) came out to help and William set up an efficient assembly line. Joe provided cases of empty bottles so that Laura's brother John could send them down the line. Barb and I (Chloe) received the bottles as they came off the line, checking for errors and filling cases. At a rate of 52 bottles per minute, our eyes were rarely off the bottles. We sent those cases down to Laura and Janet (a friend and retired teacher who also works in the vineyard) who taped and labeled each case. Finally Chuck and Richard stacked finished cases and moved them out of the way. William helped at different points and kept things running smoothly. And Mr. Summers and his assistant stayed inside the trailer making sure that nothing went wrong on the line. In the meantime, Jen offered her full moral support from Salisbury.

Overall, it was an extremely efficient process and we were all surprised to finish bottling two wines in one day. Granted, we greatly appreciated our lunch break and by the end of the day everyone was beat, but the thrill of successfully completing our first bottling line was unsurpassed. Check out the full photo gallery on our facebook page or our website.

The rest of the week was spent catching up on various tasks around the winery as we waited for the fields to dry out. We filtered the remaining wines so they are ready to be bottled on April 12th. Laura and I have been picking out merchandise for our tasting room. We've made contact with a potter and a basket-maker who may bring their work here to sell. And we're still looking so send your artist friends our way on April 11th!

Stephen and Alison hung out for a few days over their spring break and helped with cleaning the winery. Alison was a natural with our new mop and bucket, and Stephen showed no fear up on the catwalk, helping rinse out empty tanks. It'll be fun having them here this summer!

The forecast is 70 degrees and sunny next week, so if you're looking for us we'll be in the vineyard!

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