Bottling at William Chris

In: Drinking

21 Mar 2011

(map) Texas wineries come in all sizes. Part of the fun of visiting the smaller, boutique vineyards is getting a hands-on look at the action. (Last fall, we featured winemaker Chris “punching down the skins” here.) This video takes you all the way from empty bottles to full, the entire process done manually. This gentle, low-impact approach lets the winery avoid adding sulfites. This day, they were bottling 200 cases of Semillon. In contrast, Texas largest winemaker, St. Genevieve, produced about 500,000 cases last year. But not by hand!

Who knew wine-making skills include driving a forklift? Above, Chris moves the full tank of wine into place while wine partner Bill holds his breath watches.

Bottling is an all-hands-on-deck process, and it’s a motley crew. Kidding! These guys did an amazing job of sparging (shooting a bit of argon into the empty bottles to keep residual oxygen out), filling, corking and crimping, all faster than you could say, “Crue Fest 2.”

Chris looked totally at ease switching out rapidly filling bottles. That’s because this wasn’t his first rodeo.

Now comes the easy part - drinking it!

William Chris Vineyards website

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