Behind the Scenes / What's New

The Ferrari of Wine Bottling Lines Unveiled at Jordan Winery

A new kind of super car revved its engine at Jordan in 2013. Jordan Winery’s new, state-of-the-art wine bottling equipment is considered the “Ferrari of bottling lines” by the wine world. The craftsmanship and quality is incomparable.

Go inside the wine bottling line with our GoPro video and key steps of wine bottling blog.

Fueled by Jordan 2012 Russian River Chardonnay, this wine bottling line is a collection of different technologies hand-selected by Winemaker Rob Davis and Assistant Winemaker Maggie Kruse during a research trip, then custom-built by a manufacturer in Italy–who gave this one-of-a-kind machine the moniker, “Super Block.” (Over a period of four months, its new home was prepared and the line was built, as shown in the above time-lapse video.) Our new bottling line truly transcends the capabilities of other modern-day equipment. For a winery that only makes two wines and only bottles them once a year, such an expense might seem extreme, but this technological investment is consistent with the ongoing vision of our owner, John Jordan, to continuously improve wine quality with every vintage.

wine bottling line, winemaking equipment
Jordan Chardonnay on the new wine bottling line.

Relying heavily on human detection for variation in fill height, cork depth, foil wrinkling and imprecise label adhesion, our old bottling line filled 80 bottles per minute. This was simply too fast for 100 percent detection of errors with the previous line, which was a combination of equipment assembled since in the 1980s. The Super Block is capable of running almost 50 percent faster than the previous line and is equipped with cameras positioned throughout each section to catch what the human eye cannot, and without fatiguing. Any variation equating to a less than perfectly filled, corked, foiled and labeled bottle will be noted by the camera and rejected from the system. Furthermore, the Super Block is smart. Each piece of equipment throughout the new system is linked together with processors that communicate amongst each other so that they all work in sync; if one section slows down, each of the other machines follow suit to prevent pile-ups.

By reducing bottling time in half, the winemaking team will have increased flexibility with decisions on barrel and bottle aging of Jordan wines. They can either extend barrel aging by pushing back the bottling date, or increase the duration of bottle aging before release by bottling earlier. The decision for either will be simply based on the demands of each vintage’s chemistry. The flexibility will also prove instrumental as a buffer in dealing with unanticipated timing needs, as these are certainly not uncommon in the industry.

wine labels, wine bottling line, Jordan wine labels
Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon labels on the wine bottling line.

Another issue with the previous bottling line was dissolved oxygen pickup. Dissolved oxygen is simply oxygen that dissolves into wine, and it is the primary cause of variation of wine flavors between bottles filled with the same wine from the same tank. We want to eliminate the possibility of any oxygen getting into a bottle before it’s sealed with a cork. With the Super Block, dissolved oxygen pickup is minimal at only 0.2 part per million (ppm), allowing for all bottles to be filled with a total of under 1 ppm. This level of accuracy and precision ensures that each bottle of Jordan will be full of life with bright, primary fruit character in its youth, and will age gracefully while uniformly developing complexity and depth of structure through decades of patient cellar aging.

Do winemakers get stressed out during bottling season? Absolutely. Bottling is the final stage of the vinification process, capturing the vintage’s unique story of place and time. While it may not recruit an equal level of romantic intrigue as the stages leading to it, such as harvest, barrel aging and blending sessions, its flawless execution is critical to ensuring the aromas, flavors, and textures remain true to the winemaker’s intentions for expression of that vintage. During the transfer of wine from tank to bottle, these sensory properties that required countless months of dedicated nurturing to fully develop, may be altered or even lost all together in mere seconds. Recognizing the opportunity to increase the level of speed, accuracy, precision, safety, and overall quality control throughout this stage, there was never a question that it was time to upgrade.

wine bottling, Jordan winery, Maggie Kruse, winemaker
Associate Winemaker Maggie Kruse oversees wine bottling at Jordan.

To see the choreography of this modern marvel now in full working order is impressive, and we are excited and proud to share these bottlings after proper bottle age: 2012 Jordan Chardonnay and 2011 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

8 Comments
Jordan Wines to Get New Look | Wine Today

[…] of our new bottling line and the deadline for the Sonoma County conjunctive labeling law looming required us to take a […]

(Reply)
The Magic of Jordan Winery | Traveling Wine Chick

[…] The wine was then aged six months in 100% French oak, 40% new, and bottled using Jordan’s state-of-the art bottling line. The result is the best Jordan Chardonnay I’ve tasted to date. It demonstrates layers of […]

(Reply)
2014 Russian River Valley Vintage Report | Jordan Chardonnay

[…] months earlier than past vintages’  national release. With the addition of our new bottling line, both Jordan wines are expressing more complex bouquets sooner, and Winemaker Rob Davis gave us the […]

(Reply)
Chardonnay Winemaking Techniques | Jordan Winery Changes

[…] improvements made to wine bottling—installation of a new, state-of-the-art bottling line in 2013—illustrate the commitment that John Jordan has made to ensure that perfection extends all the way […]

(Reply)
Jordan Library Trust Cabernet Sauvignon | Old Wines for Sale

[…] are also recorked every 20 years—toward the end of the cork’s optimal lifespan. A new, state-of-the-art bottling line with myriad qualitative benefits also preserves and protects each bottle for optimal ageability. […]

(Reply)
2012 Alexander Valley Cabernet Vintage Report | Jordan Winery

[…] sharing a sneak peek of our 2012 Vintage Report for Alexander Valley. With the addition of our new bottling line, young vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon are much more expressive after 18 months of bottle […]

(Reply)
Jordan Winery Labels Redesign | Wine Packaging Design

[…] list the county of origin on their wine labels by 2014. In 2010, we decided to invest in a new, state-of-the-art bottling line that would demonstrably improve the quality of our wines but no longer supported the glue-backed […]

(Reply)
Jordan bottling line: how wine is bottled

[…] wondered what happens on a wine bottling line? Take a journey down our new line with the 2014 Jordan Chardonnay to learn how wine is […]

(Reply)

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Lisa Mattson

Videographer, photographer, writer and publicist. Find me on weekends trying to capture footage of the elusive Jordan Estate jack rabbits and turkeys.

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