Two Bees Wine

Sunday, September 02, 2007


We set aside Sunday of Labor Day weekend to bottle, the day after our trek to Palo Alto to watch the mighty Bruins defeat Stanford. Jon, our winemaker neighbor, promised to help oversee the low-tech operation.

Our bottling line didn’t include a plain-wrap truck disguising an assembly line and automated conveyer belts. Instead, we borrowed a stainless steel contraption about the size of a cumbersome toaster oven that fills three bottles at a time. A suction tube feeds wine directly from barrel to the steel reservoir, the volume of which is regulated by a toilet bowl-type float. Anthony leans the necks of the bottle trio into three prongs. He presses these to draw the wine, which automatically stops at just the right level without overflowing.

I man the corking station, jamming down a long lever that resembles a bladeless paper cutter. This drives a synthetic cork into a secured bottle.

The afternoon hit the mid-90 degree mark, but we went at it diligently, sweating and sunburning, until one by one, we’d completed our caseload: 147 bottles, just over 12 cases of wine!
We stacked the boxes in the living room temporarily, posing for photos.

On the to-do list: adding the maroon foils and, most importantly, creating some kind of label.


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