Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bottling Hypnosis

Volunteers are the backbone of our family winery. This is especially the case when a large task comes along such as harvesting grapes or bottling one of our bigger batches of wine. On Memorial Day Nikole, Matt, Mike, Steph and puppy Ella all pitched in to help bottle the 2008 Chardonnay. Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to bottle wine. As I’ve mentioned before, farming and wine making consist mostly of a collection of repetitive tasks that in the doing lend themselves to contemplation and meditation. But in this case having two aerospace engineers, a planetary scientist and a health care professional involved in the job, turned a routine assembly line task into a challenge of process engineering and planning. Remove empty bottles from case, fill bottles with wine, stuff in cork, shrink capsule, apply label, fill empty case with full bottle, stack case. Repeat. Shave a little time here, reduce movement there, cross train at each station, find the task each one is most efficient at. In very short order we were all a finely tuned machine and at our peak we were sizzling along at a rate of 28 cases an hour.

Pretty darn good. Good company. Good wine. Many thanks from Joan and me to Nicole, Steph, Matt, Mike and, of course, Ella.

1 comment:

  1. It was a great day indeed - we loved getting hte chance to learn the process and spend time at Canelo Hills!!! Ella had a great time meeting and playing with her new friends Lizzie and Emma too! We're looking forward to coming again and trying to break our record!