Bottling Day, July 16, 2011

Cocina Adobe Vineyard

We decided to bottle last year’s wine today to make room for this year’s harvest; the first from our vineyard.

Making wine can be a messy job, so I prefer to keep the mess in the garage. A portable swamp cooler makes it bearable inside while we’re working. I use a double-door refrigerator to keep the wine at the proper temperature during fermentation. Maybe someday I’ll set up a cellar, but for now the finished wine goes in a spare room in the house.

We bought grapes last year:

200lbs of Tempranillo from Marc Mabry

400lbs of Carignane from a vineyard near Kino Bay, Sonora, in Mexico

Ken Hilkemeyer and I made the trip last summer to Mexico (see Adventure Harvesting Grapes in Mexico) to pick up the grapes, and brought them back to my house to crush. We decided to make some rose, but the press was too underpowered to press the whole clusters. So, we ran some grapes through the crusher first and then pressed.  This was still a tough job for the old press, so we decided to stop at 6 gallons and split the batch between the two of us. Ken made the rose and gave me 3 gallons once it was past the primary fermention. The rest we split, and fermented as reds.

Our net from the above grapes was:

13.5 gallons of Tempranillo

13.5 gallons of Carignane (red)

3 gallons of Carignane (rose)

The rose is very light and a bit fruity with an amber color. This will be nice served chilled.

The Tempranillo is still young, but it has nice fruit flavor and smell. I think it will age nicely.

A bottle tree and injector (pump) makes sanitizing quick and easy.

Bottle filler at work. This makes short work of the 30 gallons we had to bottle. It takes a bit of fiddling to set the proper fill level, but I’m very happy with it. The vacuum level can be adjusted to fill quickly without much foaming, as can be seen in the bottle being filled above.

The overflow gets captured in the clear container on the back of the filler. The more practice I get using this, the less ends up in the overflow container.

These fillers can be quite expensive. I picked this up used for a good price. But, there are many versions out there from the siphon hose with a spring loaded tip to the multi-bottle commercial versions.

A floor corker is so nice to have when doing several cases. These show up on Craigslist every now and then and aren’t too expensive.

July 16, 2011

Brett and Tina Cook

This entry was posted in Media, News. Bookmark the permalink.