Last week, I blogged on the topic of blending, this week’s topic is how we bottle the fruits of our labor. Once the blend has been determined, the components of it are transferred from the barrels to a stainless steel tank. Once there, the blend is run through a few trials- a fining trial to see if there is a need to reduce any astringency and a heat and cold stability trial to see if the wine is heat and cold stable. The heat and cold stability trial is only done on whites- the heat stability is to make sure the wine doesn’t turn cloudy when exposed to extreme heat and the cold stability is to make sure crystals don’t form when exposed to extreme cold. If the wine’s astringency needs to be reduced, we add egg whites as a fining agent. If the wine is not heat stable, we add bentonite clay. We cold stabilize our wines by putting them outside in the dead of winter to cold stabilize them naturally. Once the bentonite or egg white has settled, the wine is ready to put through the cross-flow filter 2-3 days before bottling.
That was all preparation for bottling day! The wine here at Naggiar is bottled using a mobile bottling line. The bottling line rather resembles a 40 foot feather-lite trailer. The day begins at sunrise by first sterilizing the pumps, hoses and bottling line. Once the crew has shown up, the wine is sent to the truck via hoses and the bottling commences. Through the magic of the bottling line, empty glass goes in one side and a case of wine comes out the other. In between, the bottles are filled, then corked, foiled, labeled and packaged into boxes. Out comes our marvelous product.
If you are interested in seeing firsthand what actually goes on inside a bottling line, Naggiar provides the opportunity to view a bottling or even help out on the line. Next week will be the first bottling of the year. If you’d like to get up close and personal with that wine you’ve been enjoying, just contact the office at 530-268-9059 or mention it to one of our team members behind the bar the next time you are in the tasting room.