With the hot summer months coming it is now time to move the wine from the barrel into bottles. It was in early September 2009 that the wine from our first harvest was put into the barrel. This was from our first section of planting, which was of Tempranillo vines 3 years before. Now at the beginning of July 2010, with the help of John from the States and Tom from London, I have the extra hands necessary for the job.
Using a narrow tube and capillary action we took the wine from the barrel and put it through a Vinturi Wine Aerator so that the wine was oxygenated before going in the bottles. This was a slow and laborious job involving many hands and because of the position of the barrel we had to sit awkwardly. A lesson to be learned for next year! We then poured the wine into the bottles
The bottles had previously been thoroughly washed in a cleaning and disinfecting solution and then had 15 minutes in the oven at 200C. As the bottles were filled we then took a cork from a separate cleaning solution and using our super corking machine pressed home the cork. This requires a strong arm as the nozzle first compresses the cork to make it smaller than the bottle opening and then pushes it down.
As the day continued and the line of finished bottles got longer the tedium of this particular job struck us and with a ready supply to hand we had to sample as we went. This led us to think of seemingly inspired variations of how we could accomplish what we were doing more easily. As our talkativeness increased so did our need to quench our thirst on what was after all a hot day anyway.
The line of bottles increased until at last we had over 200 of the blighters. Now where to put them? The coolest place in the house was in the porch, where the barrel had been, and in the family bathrooms. So the bottles were racked and stacked under the double sink tops in boxes to lie quietly to see how the taste would mature.