In the appropriately named film ‘Bottleshock’ it is aptly put to us that; “Wine is sunlight, held together by water. The poetic wisdom of the Italian physicist, philosopher, and stargazer, Galileo Galilei. It all begins with the soil, the vine, the grape. The smell of the vineyard – like inhaling birth. It awakens some ancestral, some primordial… anyway, some deeply imprinted, and probably subconscious place in my soul.”
Here at Silkwood the passion of grape growing and winemaking has come to fruition once again in our first 2013 bottling. One by one the delivery trucks rolled up, each carrying a vital piece of the bottling puzzle in the form of cartons, dividers, tops, bottoms, bottles, green flint, claret, antique green, Burgundy, Riesling, and more bottles!
The weeks leading up to this pivotal moment was a blur. We had 10 wines to prepare including most of the 2013 whites and all 2012 reds which had been sleeping in their little wooden cask for the last 15 months. Long days were spent in the winery racking all the wines off lees, wine trials to determine the protein and cold stability, adding fining agents, cross-flow filtering, testing the wines again and again as they go through a rudimentary wine boot camp preparing them for war on the store shelves. Ice gathered on the outside of tanks as the last checks were made, dotting the I’s, crossing the T’s, listening out for the roar of Maurice and Bernie’s mobile bottling truck.
Finally the day arrived and the winery sounded the Silkwood horn that calls for all hands on deck from the dark reaches of the vineyard to the restaurant.
Even the boss showed up.
For the next three days bottling commenced. Bottling has both its shortcomings and appeal. Boredom, repetitiveness, loudness, aches, pains, inner dialogue reflecting on what one has done in one’s life to be lifting glass bottles for 8 hours straight. Then there’s the satisfaction of seeing every ones hard work over the last year spill into the clean and shiny bottles with Silkwood decorating the front label. Not to mention the excitement of sirens ringing through the bottling truck as something goes haywire, a bottle shows up at the end of the line empty, labels run out, boxes and dividers run out, no one has noticed the cellotape hasn’t taped the bottom of the case and CRASH! Somehow it all comes together in a clever, mechanical fashion. Suctioned from the tank it arrives in the fillers, generously filling wine into the bottles, then down the tracks they march like something out of a Pink Floyd movie. Fasten on the screwcap, the wine dances down the line to receive its label and graduate toward its future.