Sheldon Haynie
 
May 30, 2013 | Sheldon Haynie

Bottling party

Bottling wine by hand is a labor intensive process. Each case must be opened, emptied onto a table, each bottle filled, corked, foiled and labeled and then the cases stacked. A good crew can do about 30 cases an hour, or a bottle every 10 seconds on average. The actual rate is a bit higher, as there is downtime for changing over wines and  blending that may be limited by availability of pumps and tanks.

 

We recently helped bottle 250 cases of Rhone varietals, for a client who's vineyard we are managing, (We will probably have their wines to release next year) and basically showed the limitation of our corker, a "Ferrari" floor model which is avaialble broadly. After 3000 strokes the jaws were loose and the hands were sore. We made a quick trip to Paso Robles to the Vintner Vault and picked up a "professional" model which is welded not bolted together and has stainless rather than Brass jaws. We'll see if it has the durability to stand up to the 400 case weekends we are planning for June 8/9 and later in July/August. 

If this one doesn't hold up, then were going to step up to a "Rapid 12" from Switzerland, at a 5X increase in price.

 

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