Bottling wine the not-so-automated way (VIDEO)

We’re often asked, “How much wine do you produce each year?”  As a small to mid-sized Ohio winery, our current production is about 8,000 gallons annually.  The follow-up question we hear most is, “About how many bottles is that?”  The quick answer, TOO MANY.  In actuality, there are about 5 bottles per gallon of wine, so we’re filling/corking/capsuling/labeling about 40,000 bottles per year.  We’ve drooled over automated bottling lines where you put empty bottles in at one end and they come out ready to go at the other end.  However, we can’t justify the expense of purchasing something like this until our volume increases substantially.  In the mean time, we have a very hands-on approach, which means more JOBS! 😀  It takes about 6-7 people to run the line, and we can comfortably bottle 1000 gallons in a day if everything is operating smoothly.

Just in case you’d like to help out someday (okay, stop laughing), here are the main jobs on the bottling line:

  1. First person:  Pull two empty bottles from the cases, sparge with inert gas to prevent oxidation (the sparger was inoperative during the video posted below), and then push the two bottles in the nozzles of the filler.
  2. Second person:  Pull two bottles off the filler when they’re ready and cork both bottles.  Our corker pulls a slight vacuum before inserting the cork to remove oxygen from the bottle.
  3. Third person (this is the best job):  Put a heat shrink capsule on the bottles.
  4. Fourth person:  Lift the bottles into a heat element to heat shrink the capsules.
  5. Fifth person:  Apply a label to the bottle.
  6. Sixth person:  Make sure labels are applied smoothly, fill cases, and stack pallets with finished wine.
  7. Seventh person (if available):  Keep first person stocked with empty bottles and apply case labels.

Here’s a quick video from Adam:

Are you ready to jump in and help?  Comment below! 😀

We’re not spending money on bottling lines, but we ARE investing to make your experience at Paper Moon Vineyards more enjoyable!  Have you seen the work going on outside?  Come back to the blog soon to hear about all the new things we’re working on for summer!  Thanks for reading; see you soon!

-Adam

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