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Teresa Delmare
April 20, 2014 | Around the Winery | Teresa Delmare

March 2014: Bottling!

As we enter into the 2014 growing season at Rappahannock Cellars, we wrap up the 2013 season with one of our most exciting processes: bottling. The hard work, passion, and expertise of our production culminates on bottling day. The vineyard has been pruned and tended; the grapes have been harvested and crushed; the wine has been crafted and aged. After months of work, bottling is a time for celebration!

The bottling process begins with the wine siphoned through a hose and into the bottling line. Meanwhile, empty glass bottles are sterilized and pumped with inert gas to remove oxygen. Along the conveyor belt, bottles are filled with wine and given another pump of gas to prevent oxidation. Then, the bottles are corked, foiled and labeled, at a rate of about 100 cases per hour. This process is quite a shock to the wine, so much so that it even has its own name: bottle shock, and the wine need a few months to normalize before its ready to enjoy.

Bottling days are exciting at Rappahannock, as we bring additional helping hands from our production team, tasting-room staff, and even some volunteers to support the efforts in the cellar. The bottling line requires people to sort and push the empty bottles through the line and others to handle and pack the finished product. Meanwhile, our winemaker oversees the entire process and ensures quality control; this is a meticulous process with no room for error.

Like all wineries, bottling is so important to us at Rappahannock Cellars because it is the last step in bringing our family’s passion to you. Whether nearby in your home in Virginia, or across the country or world, we hope you enjoy each bottle as much as we do.




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