A year in a French vineyard: June 2019

Bottling time at Jonathan’s vineyard means long, hard and monotonous work

It takes bottle to prepare wine for sale - Jonathan Hesford on the demands and important processes of a wine’s bottling

After harvest, bottling is the most important and risky operation in the winery. Often overlooked by consumers and commentators, the bottling process involves meticulous planning and preparation to avoid mistakes and ensure the wine reaches the consumer in the best state possible.

Large wine producers have dedicated bottling facilities that run all year round, much like a brewery or soft-drinks factory, but for the thousands of independent family estates, bottling is a stressful event involving lots of third-party help. Like many small producers in my region, I do not own a bottling line. I have to reserve a mobile bottler several weeks in advance.

Every winery has different criteria and constraints when it comes to bottling, depending on the type, range and volume of wines to be bottled. So much of this article relates to how I approach bottling at Domaine Treloar.

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