It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about Winemaking – 12 weeks, to be exact.   Winemaking requires a lot of patience, especially during the part in between the final fermentation and racking to bottling. 

Rather than bottle sooner and have the wine age in their individual bottles, I prefer to bulk-age the wine before bottling so that there’s more body and flavor.  I’ve had both the Spanish Tempranillo and Wild Blueberry Blush bulk-aging, and it was time to bottle.

I decided to start with the Spanish Tempranillo since I had purchased brand new bottles to use – a simple job of hauling the boxes up from the basement then sanitizing each and every bottle. 

That’s why I love my ‘bottle tree’ – makes it so much easier to let the bottle drip-dry after sanitizing than trying to stack them precariously on my dish drainer:

I racked it into a sanitized bucket first, since there was a small layer of sediment at the bottom of the carboy I didn’t want to have end up in the bottled wine.  I also needed to add a 1/4 teaspoon of metabisulphite diluted in water to make sure the wine stays stabilized for longer term storage and doesn’t oxidize. 

Much easier to add if it’s transferred to a bucket first:

This is my life saver.  It’s a Portuguese Floor Corker:

You place the filled bottle in the spring-loaded bottom, then put a sanitized cork in the slot and pull the handle down.  Sure makes getting corks into the bottles so much easier!

All bottled!  This batch made 25-1/2 bottles.  Now I’ll store them upright for 3-5 days so the excess gasses can escape as the corks finish expanding in the neck of the bottle. 

If you turn them on their side right away, you might end up with the corks popping out of the bottles and oh what a waste that would be!

After 3-5 days, I’ll turn them on their sides so the corks can get properly moisturized for easier removal when it’s time to drink.  Next I’ll design and print custom labels for the bottles, and finish the top with shrink caps.  I’ll post that next week.

I had planned to bottle the Wild Blueberry Blush yesterday, but ran into a little snafu.  I bought two cases of used cobalt blue bottles (get it?  Wild Blueberry Blush in blue bottles?). 

I forgot that there were labels to remove first (the only drawback to saving a little money buying cases of used bottles), so I spent a couple of hours removing the labels from the bottles and getting them ready to sanitize. 

I got to the final bottle and did my usual label removal with scalding hot water and a paint scraper.  Then I noticed this:

The blue was painted onto this bottle.  So of course using the paint scraper scraped a significant amount of the paint off.  Here’s another look to see how bad it was:

Here it is next to a ‘normal’ cobalt blue bottle:

At least it was only one of the bottles that was like that – the rest were ‘normal’ cobalt blue.  I might be a few bottles short for the batch, but I’ll just use green ones for those – and probably keep those to drink myself. 

So today will be another wine bottling day after Princess Nagger goes to school and Hovering Hubby goes to work – that way I can get it done much faster without interruptions.

Next week I’ll update you on putting the finishing touches on bottles, as well as updates on the progress of some of the other wines that are currently ‘in progress’.

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  1. Oh my gosh! I am so totally impressed! I’ve never known anyone to make and bottle their own wine. I would love to do that but it looks expensive and I wouldn’t know the first thing about making it. The cobalt blue is beautiful though.
    .-= Simone would like you to read ..Soggy and Sappy =-.

  2. I can’t believe how much time you spend on this! I hope you’re making big bucks from it!

    Don’t forget to save a few samples for your bestie. 😉
    .-= blueviolet would like you to read ..The Backside =-.

  3. That looks like a lot of fun (and work!). I made wine once at a do-it-yourself place. We started it, they took care of it for 6 weeks, then we went back and bottled. It was fun.
    .-= Barb would like you to read ..Finding My Darhma =-.

  4. See the kind of friends you’ve got? Not one of us wants to help you make wine, but we’ll all help you drink it. I have to admit, my eyes started to glaze over a little when I attempted to read the process.
    .-= diane would like you to read ..Hello, What’s This? =-.

  5. I love learning about it, but will never attempt it myself since I can’t get beyond two sips without slurring.:-)
    Your feed is updating! Your feed is updating! Woo hoo! We’re back on track!
    .-= Sprite’s Keeper would like you to read ..Good Boy =-.

  6. How much do you charge for the blueberry blush? I’m not a wine drinker… mostly because of my blood sugar, but boy I do want a bottle of that stuff. Especially because my friend made it!!!! How cool is that? And those cobalt bottles (except for the fake one) are just gorgeous!

    Justine 😮 )
    .-= Justine would like you to read ..Join Me For The Sunday Scramble =-.

  7. How cool is that? I do not know the first thing about wine. Can I tell the differnce b/w that ad three buck chuck? Hell yeah but beyond that, nada. Beautiful bottles.

  8. Wow…this is awesome, I somehow missed the fact that you do this… you have a mailing list? I would love to be able to order some of your wines for my little collection.
    .-= stevenasnthony would like you to read ..Musical Monday…. =-.

  9. YAY! It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! I don’t know why, but I’m just so excited, I can’t believe its been 12 weeks already. That is a TON of work, sanatizing is enough work in itself!

    I love that you chose the blue bottles for the blush, so fitting! And com’on, who paints their bottle blue? LOL

    Oh well, you can still use that bottle. Just extra for yourself.

    Can’t wait to see the labels!
    .-= Pooba would like you to read ..Pooba’s Guide To Surviving Your Colonoscopy =-.

  10. This is fascinating stuff, Stacy. I would love to learn to make my own wine. Do you sell it or just stock your wine cellar? We have a friend that makes all different kinds of wine. I should really pay more attention.
    .-= Smart Mouth Broad would like you to read ..MYSTERY…….MEAT? =-.

  11. This was very interesting. My parents were invited to help with a commercial winery to bottle wines. They had a blast and walked away with two bottles of wine each. They learned a lot about the process.

  12. My mate and I have been making wine for a few years now. We normally use Grenache grapes but last year we opted for Shiraz. We’ve made white wine on a couple of occasions, the first batch was cool the second not so hot, white wine is so much harder to make.

    We normally do about half a ton a year and consume it pretty well between the three families. We’ve never added anything to it so it’s probably best we go through it pretty quickly, also we don’t use corks as we bottle it in flagons instead of your normal wine bottle.
    .-= Sire would like you to read ..If Women Controlled The Earth =-.

  13. Wow! I am really amazed with the pictures showing your things prepared for making homemade wine. I really like your presentation. Your wines look very tasty. Yes, it is a lot of work but one thing is for sure, wine making is a lot enjoying job. Plus, you can gain your profits.

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