When vine-ripened grapes have reached their highest quality each fall, they are carefully hand-picked from late September to mid October. They’re then transported to the crush area, and dumped into the crusher de-stemmer.
After resting for a short time, the juice is gently pressed from the mashed grapes, then pumped to large tanks in the cellar, where fermentation begins.
About 14 days later, the wine is racked, and moved to another tank where it ages for anywhere from 4 to 10 months, depending on the variety. The aging wine is constantly monitored and tested. When the winemaker decides the early varieties are ready, bottling begins.
Empty bottles are placed on the conveyor, rinsed, and filled with wine that has been piped directly from the cellar. The filler processes about 50 bottles a minute, or 3000 bottles an hour. The bottles are either automatically corked, and passed through a heat tunnel that shrinks the capsules tightly over the cork or finished with a screw-cap (Stelvin) finish. Labels are applied by machine.
After the wine has been bottled, the bottles are checked, re-packed into their boxes, and sent to our climate-controlled warehouse, where they rest for anywhere from 3 months to a year before being prepared for shipping.