Behind the Scenes

Video: Sending Our Children Off to College (AKA Bottling Wine)

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 top-quality wine corks are selected. (Sometimes this involves me flying to Portugal.) The relationships we’ve established with our suppliers in Portugal have helped us maintain a very high quality standard–a Jordan wine cork costs about $1.10 while the industry average is $0.35. Before 2013, I would fly to Tennessee in March to oversee the steel engraving process unique to the Jordan wine label. (The same company that prints your tax refund checks also printed our wine labels for decades.) This chapter in our history closed when conjunctive labeling became law, as explained in our wine label redesign blog.

Before the first drop of Jordan wine falls into a bottle each summer, I have inspected the glass, cardboard and foils, as well as scrunitized, by hand, every piece of our wine 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 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon over a six-week period and Chardonnay over a two-week period, from June through 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. He also invested in a state-of-the-art new bottling line in 2013, which has decreased bottle shock and helped us decrease any chance of bottle variation. 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.

Watch our latest wine bottling video, which takes you on a ride inside the line, thanks to a GoPro.

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.

10 Comments
Tweets that mention How wine is bottled: bottling Cabernet, Chardonnay at winery | The Jordan Journey -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Wine Diary and Bill Eyer, Jordan Winery. Jordan Winery said: New blog post: Sending our children off to college (AKA bottling) http://goo.gl/fb/xxOVG […]

(Reply)
Adam Yusko

Great video, and elaboration on the process of bottling wine. I believe this video only touches upon how much work actually goes on behind the scenes, and having been to a few wineries I can appreciate to some degree the massive operation wineries can be.

(Reply)
Lisa Mattson

Dear Adam,
Thanks for watching and taking a moment to comment. You are absolutely correct. We could have made a 10-minute video (or more) about all the quality control details that go into preparing for bottling wine — and then running the bottling line. Days of cleaning and inspecting every piece of equipment down to the bolts — figured very few people would want to watch that. 🙂
Best,
Lisa Mattson

(Reply)
Doris Ferreira

Had no idea, but this meticulous quality control makes sense. Could be the difference between not bothering again, or returning for more.

(Reply)
Lisa

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Doris. Looking forward to sharing more quality control videos with you. We have one on barrel selection coming up.
Happy New Year!

(Reply)
professional essay writers

I like the comparison 🙂 But the vid is actually interesting and worth watching

(Reply)
Lisa

Thank you. We hope to do a video on winemaker “homework” this year — the family tastings before bottling decisions are made.

(Reply)
glass dining table

Nice video you have shared 

(Reply)

Thank you!

(Reply)
Viewers Choice Video #1: The People Behind Jordan Wines - The Journey of Jordan Winery

[…] This week, you hear from Maggie Kruse, our assistant winemaker. Over the past year, she’s blogged about how corks are made and tested, how we choose our barrel coopers and our approach to bottling. […]

(Reply)

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Maggie

Maggie began working for Jordan in August of 2006 and is an associate winemaker.

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