Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mobile Bottling at Stomping Girl Winery

I left early and a good thing too as I got lost. I wandered in the wrong direction until Google maps said "uh hullo? Turn around."

Walking down Fourth Street in Berkeley, away from all the shops and bustle, I discovered quite a few things I didn't know where there. Go past the Sake tasting room, leather handbag shops, you'll find treasures like and June Taylor Jams.

My destination was a local winery by the name of Stomping Girl. When the call went out from the newsletter for bottling volunteers, I immediately responded. Though having worked at a winery I never got to be a part of the bottling process, so I thought it would be interesting to see the process.

Stomping Girl is owned by Uzi and Katherine Cohen, two delightful people. I actually talk to Uzi on Twitter, which is how I discovered them. You have to love people who provide a delicious lunch for their volunteers and take the time to make sure there is both meat and vegetarian options. And cookies!

It is also great to meet someone who I've been chatting with on Twitter.

The mobile bottling unit is just what it sounds like: a bottling unit in a truck. On the left is the bottles and argon. You put argon in the bottles and then you put them onto the filler. The bottle moves to Kaleb who tops off the bottle and corks it.

The truck open & ready to rock

The bottle is then passed off to get a foil cap, pushed back into a machine to seal the foil, labeled and placed in a box. Sound easy? Well it takes most of a day. We worked in a morning and afternoon shift and though it is fun to meet new people, if you had to do it all day you'd find the repetitiveness tedious.


Ooh, look at those shiny green babies filling with wine!

It's really a wonder though, being the nosy character that I am, so I found the whole process very interesting. The wine was pumped in from a tube linked to a vat in the warehouse. As you can see above, the bottles get filled on the machine in the truck.

Kaleb puts corks into the corker.

This is one of the most fascinating times I have ever had. Having no idea that mobile bottling trucks even existed, I asked a million questions about the who what when why and how. Kaleb is really patient and was happy to share information with me. And he has agreed to a blog interview, so if you want to know more, send your questions.

Getting ready for labels

We haven't tried the '09 Pinot that we bottled yet. That will lay down for a few months and then we'll get to taste it. All I know is it smelled pretty amazing!

1 comment:

  1. Luna, thanks for being one of our volunteers on bottling day. You were awesome and I'm glad you had fun!!


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