Anomaly Vineyards

A Berkeley, California transplant's view of becoming an Accidental Vintner.

Roll out the barrel

The first day of bottling is fun. Everyone is "up" for the task, excited even. Then it begins. We had 9 of us on the line. Can you believe for this small operation it takes 18 hands? To be truthful, 20 hands would have been even better, giving 2 hands a chance to rest now and again! Hand up the case, empty the case, hand the bottle to the nitrogen sparger person, put the sparged bottle on the filler, fill the bottle, hand it the corker, cork it, hand it to the capsule placement person, hand it to the capsule spinner person, hand it to the "put it back in the box" person, fill the box (case) with the filled bottles, hand the case down to the person putting the cases on the pallet. When the pallet has 54 cases on it, wrap it in shrink wrap, bring the forklift around to gently, gently, gently pick it up, drive it over to the wine storage room across the way, come back, and start again! We did this for 2 days. It went well - really well. In fact, the only glitch, and it was a major one, was the fight between Dale and Ashby (our two alpha and "wannabe" alpha males). Ashby is recovering and will be fine. Winemaker Mark helped save what could have been a disastrous situation. As for me and Steve, the bottling was a nice distraction from the dog issues that have consumed us this past week - what to do, what to do. There is a resolution, we just haven't figured out what it is yet. So for now, we are becoming quite adept at dog shuffling so 'ner the twain should meet - not yet, anyway. Thank you Brad (La Petite Bottling), Mark, Gerich, Chris, Michael, Adam, Anna, Haley, Lorand, and Steve. Happy 4th and Chantico to you.


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