Bottling Line Blues
Every time we start bottling I have flashbacks. I'm 15 or 16 years old, in high school and spending many a weekend and lots of school vacations working on our bottling line. We (Dry Creek Vineyard) were actually one of the highest paying gigs in town and it sure beat a job flipping hamburgers at Arctic Circle or at the old Healdsburg A & W Root Beer.
Things were a lot different then. Labels were affixed by hand using a small rolling glue machine and a wooden template that we'd hold in our lap so we could line the front and back labels up straight. There were 4 or 5 of us on the line, all laughing and joking, anxiously awaiting our mid morning break or lunch hour. These same people also made the wine, sold the wine, poured in the tasting room, etc. It was those early days on the bottling line that made me swear I'd never work for the winery when I grew up. No sirreee. I had better things to do with my life! But somehow the call of the family business and the prospect of helping build something really special brought me back full-time in 1986.Bottling is one of the most strenuous, tedious, and difficult jobs. And, it's a job that few have experienced yet is paramount to quality wine production. In fact it's so important that we put in a spiffy new (EXPENSIVE) one last year. Not the most gratifying way to spend money, but certainly a necessity for us since our previous equipment was ancient.
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