Bottling basics…

Sauvignon Blanc / Thursday, May 27th, 2021

It’s been longer than any of us care to remember, but our Sauvignon Blanc is finally back at the Cellar Bar.

Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief… ahhhh.

It was lovingly bottled last week, so what better time than to revisit how that’s all done.

I’m going to steal mostly from a post I did last year (when we bottled our 2020 Rosé). But, I’ve also got a couple of photos and a video that Rob took last.



Rob bottles most of our wine at Boutique Bottlers in Stockwell (that’s in the Barossa). 

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.



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 over 60km away. 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.



Set up

I don’t even know what the heck goes on with this bit, but lots of people do lots of things, and then in no time at all the machine was is 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.

Here is the wine (our 2020 Rosé) 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…



Here’s a nice little video of labels going onto our 2019 Tempranillo…

If you’ve ever seen our Rosé, Pinot, Fumé, Sparkling Shiraz, (along with a couple of others) though, you would have noticed that we don’t use a traditional paper label.

Once those particular wines are bottled we send them to 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.



Last but not least, the bottles get lovingly placed into their boxes by hand…


…glued shut…

And labelled to let us know what’s inside.

Here is a photo of the very first box of 2021 Sauvignon Blanc coming off the bottling line…!

The boxes are then stacked on a pallet, wrapped and sent to where they need to go next (…like to the Cellar Bar for you to drink!).



And finally that video Rob took last week…


We look forward to seeing you for a glass or two of Sauvvy very soon!

2 Replies to “Bottling basics…”

  1. Hullo, I might just have to come in a wee bit before next Friday to sample the goods.
    Thank you for the well presented information.

  2. You’re welcome Froggy! And we won’t tell the others if you come in before Friday… see you soon 🙂

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