A common perception of winery life during the summer is that the work prior to the harvest is calm, relaxed: the wines are resting peacefully in cask, the winemaker’s boots resting peacefully under the desk.
I beg to differ.
As Assistant Winemaker at Jordan, one of my primary responsibilities is to manage the entire bottling process from tank to bottle. The task starts back in February, when I travel to Portugal to select our corks. The relationships I have established with our suppliers in Portugal have helped us maintain a very high quality standard. A month later, I fly to Tennessee to oversee the steel engraving process unique to our label. (The same company that prints your tax refund checks prints our labels!)
Before the first drop of wine falls into a bottle, I have inspected the glass, cardboard and foils, as well as scrunitized, by hand, every piece of our bottling equipment. This certainly wasn’t covered in winemaking school. Part winemaker, part crew chief, part mechanic: I honestly feel as if we are sending two children off to college every year! And when the day comes to begin bottling, my first taste of wine begins at 6 a.m., when I check the bottling tank for uniformity. We first bottle Cabernet Sauvignon (this year the 2008 vintage) over a six-week period beginning in early June, followed by Chardonnay (2009 vintage) in mid-July. We always bottle a Cabernet two years after its vintage year and Chardonnay 8-10 months after its vintage. With John Jordan’s arrival as CEO in 2005, we now allow our Cabernet Sauvignons to age a full two years in bottle before release. We have a great crew to work on the bottling line, and we all share a commitment of perfection in ensuring every bottle will be regarded as a fine accompaniment on your dining table.
These preparation and production steps taken to ensure every vintage of Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are bottled under perfect conditions and packaged to our high standards are highlighted in this video.