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Bottling Our Wine at Tin Lizzie Wineworks

Bottling Cabernet Sauvignon at Tin Lizzie Wineworks

Bottling Cabernet Sauvignon at Tin Lizzie Wineworks

This past Sunday, early in the morning, we drove to Tin Lizzie Wineworks where we have been making a wine in a French oak barrel. We had purchased the Tonnellerie Taransaud oak barrel in 2012 and filled it with Cabernet Sauvignon wine sourced from Stagecoach Vineyard in the Atlas Peaks AVA in Napa Valley.

On Sunday it was time to bottle the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. After aging in oak for 21 months, the wine should continue  to age in bottle even though it is drinkable now. In a couple of years it will be even better.

Bottling wine at Tin Lizzie Wineworks begins with sanitizing and hanging them on a bright red bottle tree. We actually have one of those bottle trees at home that we use for our small production of experimental wines. The bottle tree is quick and easy to use and allows the bottles, sprayed with potassium metabisulfite, to drip dry. After the bottles have drained for a short time it was time to fill them with wine. Dave Zuchero, owner of Tin Lizzie Wineworks, has an automatic bottle filler that fills four bottles at a time. The machine, which we have seen at many boutique wineries, has a sensor that automatically stops filling the bottle at the right level leaving room for the cork and a tiny bit of space. Terry was in charge of adding the empty bottles to the bottling machine and removing them and passing them to two of us who used a Portuguese floor corker to cork the bottles. The next step was to add the capsules. Normally the final step is to add the label to the bottle but on Sunday the humidity was high and the labels would not have adhered to the bottles.

We returned home with 24 cases of unlabeled wines. The cases needed to be kept right side up for a day or two. This allows the cork to adjust to the bottle neck.  Then it was time to label the bottles and lay them on their sides. Terry has developed a great system for putting the labels perfectly on the bottles. It’s quick and easy. Maybe he should consider patenting his labeler method!

Anyhow, our expectation is that this 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon will be very, very good in a few years. Winemaking is all about patience.





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