John Taylor
 
July 23, 2020 | John Taylor

Bottling Pinor Noir at Cultivar Wine

For pinot noir, bottling is the last step in a nearly two-year process that takes grapes from the vine and puts wine on your table. If you've ever seen a wine bottling, you may think it looks like a lot like manufacturing, and not nearly as romantic as winemaking sounds. The truth is, every step of the process is absolutely essential to ensure that you not only pour a quality wine from that bottle, but that the wine can beautifully and gracefully age in the that bottle.

Let's take a look at how bottling works. Earlier this month, we bottled our two, newest pinot noirs: the 2019 Russian River Pinot Noir and the 2019 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. We're especially excited about the Santa Lucia Highlands release, as it is our first bottling of pinot noir from this unique and gorgeous appellation.

Bring In The Bottling Truck

It all starts with a big truck that looks like this:

It's not a food truck - it's better. It's a Moble Bottling Truck, which contains all the necessary equipment to clean, fill, cork and label a wine bottle. Trucks like this can set up quickly directly outside a crush pad or warehouse and bottle tens of thousands of gallons of wine per day.

First, the wine is poured from barrels (or stainless steel tanks, if those were used for fermentation) into large tanks like this one. Notice the tubing that leads to a regulator that can start or stop the wine from reaching the bottling truck.

The bottling crew then takes cases of pre-sanitized wine bottles and empties them onto a conveyor belt that guides them onto the first mechanism, a machine that blasts nitrogen into the bottle to not only clear out any remaining dust particles, but to eliminate oxygen from the bottle. The bottle is then transfered from this machine to the one that dispenses a perfect 750 ml of wine into the bottle. In this video, you can see the first process on the right, and the second one on the left.

Bottling Video 1 07/20 from Gingy Gable on Vimeo.

The bottles are then corked. A machine pops a burst of nitrogen into the top of the bottle to push out the tiny bit of oxygen remaining, then a cork is inserted to the bottle. This ensures that the least amount of oxygen remains in the bottle, so that the wine inside will age without oxydation.

The bottles then move along the conveyer to where they'll be labeled. The labels are printed on giant rolls, which unwind as the bottle goes by. A roller affixes both the front and back labels.

Bottling Video 2 07/20 from Gingy Gable on Vimeo.

Finally, the bottles are placed in cases, where they are sealed by hand and placed on pallets for warehousing. At this point, the wine is in "Bottle Shock," a phenominon that occurs when wine has been shaken or disturbed more than normal. Bottle Shock can result in a wine tasting disjointed or imbalanced, so it's recommended that recently-bottled wines are allowed to settle for at least a few days. We typically extend that period to 60 days, just to be sure. (Pro Tip: Bottle Shock can even occur after the shipping process, so it's recommended that wine you purchase by mail be allowed to rest a couple of days before being consumed).

Bottling Video 3 from Gingy Gable on Vimeo.

We'll be celebrating Pinot Noir Day on August 28th, and if the 2019s are ready for their debut by then, they'll be making their debut. Sign up for our Newsletter to keep informed about our plans for Pinot Noir Day events all that week!

Time Posted: Jul 23, 2020 at 5:17 PM
Lucy Pinto
 
October 6, 2015 | Lucy Pinto

Sharing the Excitement of Harvest 2015 at Caspar Estate

 

CASPAR ESTATE’S VIEW ON HARVEST 2015

FROM WHERE WE SIP 

We witnessed the unmistakable beauty of the leaves starting to turn colors, breathed in the earthy smell of crush and experienced the magic of harvest. The days were warm, stunningly beautiful and there was a crispness in the air. As we walked the rows of vines, we experienced the many micro-climates from the peaks and valleys within our vineyard. Each needed to be picked at it's optimum time. It was an exciting and busy time as we hand picked our Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot grapes from our 13 acre vineyard, and sent them off under the watchful eye of Julien Fayard, our winemaker, to craft our next vintages.

(See all Caspar Estate Wines and Cultivar Wines)

The growing season started and ended early this year - the earliest ever for us! That along with the drought yielded a smaller crop in 2015, and the quality is indeed excellent. The smaller berries lead to bigger wines, due to the skin to juice ratio, resulting in more tannins and significant flavor.

With this warm and early 2015 Harvest wrapped up, we will begin to prepare your annual allocation of our 2012 Caspar Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. We are looking forward to sending out what is likely to be your favorite vintage yet.

From our family to yours,

Jody & Gingy

THE BENEFITS OF GOING MAGNUM


Create a party and keep it going with a beautiful and bountiful Caspar Estate Magnum, 3L, 6L or 12L bottle.  When you choose a large format bottle you are guaranteed to keep the good times flowing and create special memories too. Want to make a lasting impression? We love putting metallic pens on the table and getting everyone to sign the bottle. Your guests can add their warm wishes, and you have a timeless keepsake long after they’ve left.

To personalize your experience even more, the 6L, 9L and 12L bottles can be custom etched. Contact Dianne for all the details. Celebrate abundance at your next special occasion with a large bottle of one of our most popular wines.

Limited quantities available - order them while they last!

Time Posted: Oct 6, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Cultivar Wine
 
August 20, 2014 | Cultivar Wine

Howell Mountain Bottling Day!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around the winery. We’re getting ready for a fun wine and food happy hour event in San Francisco AND we’ve been bottling new vintages of your favorite wines. It wouldn't be summer if we weren't a little busy, right? All fun things, though.

Just recently, we spent the day bottling the 2012 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - 148 cases to be exact! If you were fortunate to try the 2011 vintage, you’ll know that this best selling wine is known for its big, elegant tannins and ripe plum and spicy black currant flavors. We have no doubts that our 2012 will be just as delicious, if not better!

Check out the photos from bottling day.

Bottles going through the machine.


Time Posted: Aug 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM