It’s been an exciting week for us here at Somerled.
Not one (or two or three), but four of Rob’s brand new wines made it into bottle on Tuesday! Which means it won’t be too long before you get to sample them for yourselves!
Activities designed to keep a 4-year-old entertained have been few and far between these days, so the idea of a road trip to the Barossa to see exactly how it’s all done (and see a few forklifts in action) sounded like just the thing we needed.
So, off we went to visit Boutique Bottlers in Stockwell.
Headed up by Kym Bergermeister (Rob and he used to work together back in his Penfold’s days), these guys know what they’re doing. They are experts in small batch bottling and handle our wines with the love and care they deserve.
Join me as I take you step by step through how our wines get from the winery into the bottle on your table…
The (slightly) tricky thing for Somerled is that Rob makes our wines at Lodestone Winery here in the Adelaide Hills, but has them bottled in the Barossa. That means the wine needs to be moved from the tank or barrels in the winery, into copper vessels on a truck and then into stainless steel tanks (like these ones on the left) at Boutique Bottlers before it gets anywhere near a bottle.
All this movement presents opportunities for things to go “not quite right” and can obviously be a pretty nerve-wracking time for Rob. That’s why he is there every step of the way and does one final taste test before the wine heads down the bottling line. He is only able to make minor adjustments at this point so it’s great that he has such a professional team at both ends to ensure the wine is in the best condition possible going into bottle.
I don’t even know what the heck went on with this bit, but lots of people did lots of things, and then in no time at all the machine was all ready to go for our specific size bottles and caps, etc.
As you’ll see, there are lots of bits and pieces to configure correctly which will make sure the wine, caps and labels (I’ll get to that part later) go in exactly the right spot.
They also need to make sure they’ve got all the right bottles, caps, cartons and dividers ready to go.
Here we go… the exciting bit! The culmination of all that hard work Rob has put into making the wine.
First down the line for us on Tuesday was our 2020 Rosé. Here it is waiting patiently in a nice stainless steel tank. You can see that pipe and hose sticking out of it… that’s what will take it to the bottling line.
First, the bottles get a quick rinse, and then a squirt of nitrogen is added to the bottles (that’s what is happening in the photo below). This displaces the oxygen, which, if left in the bottle will cause oxidation of the wine.
After all that, the wine finally makes its way into the bottle.
Then it’s time for the cap. For some reason, I didn’t take a photo of that! Here is a video though so you can see the whole process…
The next part of the process is labelling. However, if you’ve had our Rosé (and Pinot, Fumé, Sparkling Shiraz, and a few others) you would have noticed that we don’t use a traditional paper label. Once this one is bottled we then send it Glass Print Solutions back in the Adelaide Hills to print our labels directly onto the bottle. Not only is it a more economic way to label small batches, but it looks pretty neat too!
They are also responsible for our gorgeous glasses.
While we’re on the topic, I may as well show you a video of how the labels go on…
Last but not least, the bottles get lovingly placed into their boxes by hand…
And labelled to let us know what’s inside. And here is a photo of the very first box of Somerled 2020 Rose coming off the bottling line…!
The boxes are then stacked on a pallet (I think this guy has done that before, what do you think?!), wrapped and sent to where they need to go next. (Like to the Cellar Bar for you to drink!)
I know you’ve been waiting patiently to find out exactly which wines were bottled on Tuesday.
OK, here they are:
- 2020 Pinot Noir Rose
- 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir Dry Red
- 2020 Pinot Noir Light Dry Red – something a little different from Rob which you will hear more about in the coming weeks.
And last but in ABSOLUTELY NO way least…
If you were paying attention during that labelling video (or following along on facebook this week) then you’d already know that it’s our 2018 Tempranillo!
That’s right fans… it’s back!
And you have next to no time at all to wait to try it out. It will be officially released early July alongside the next Jockey Club pack, but here is how you can get in before then…
Have Your First Glass with Rob!
Secure your own…
Pre-Release Box of Tempranillo
(despatched Monday 29 June)
and you will receive a private invitation from Rob to one of a limited number of exclusive zoom calls.
(Don’t have zoom? If you’ve got a computer/smartphone and an internet connection, we’ll help you with the rest)
These will be tiny group events with Rob, where no questions are off-limits – make sure you ask the simple ones too because you know somebody else wants to know the answer!
Limited positions for this exclusive set of events.