2016 Bottling

After almost a full year, it was time to bottle the 2016's.  I ended up with about 45 gallons of wine from the grapes, so I was going to end up with around 225 bottles.  I have a pretty good routine down now with getting everything ready. So, I started the day before with cleaning all of the bottles by using the bottle sanitizer and some One Step.  Now, having to do 225 bottles was a bit tricky, since I only have an 81 bottle tree and a 45 bottle tree, so I had to do it two days before and take the already clean ones and put them upside down in boxes. 

The actual bottling day, I ran One Step through all of my lines for my Enolmatic, making sure everything was clean.  I then just got to work.  With my Enolmatic and my Italian floor corker, I can do all of this myself.  I just kept cranking them out, pausing only to switch carboys when they were empty.  I always do a couple magnums as well, so those give me a little rest while I fill them :)  After everything was bottled, the fun began with cleanup.  8 carboys had to be rinsed and sanitized, the Enolmatic had to be cleaned and I needed to get rid of the empty bags that held the corks.  All in all, it was a 4 hour job.  Once I was done cleaning, I just waited till the next day to put the labels on.  I use Uprinting.com for professionally printed labels, and they are extremely reasonably priced.

I look forward to another year of winemaking as the 2016's have now been laid down.  I find that these wines from this vineyard are best after 3-4 years, so 2019-2020 before I started to crack these open.