How We Make Wine: The Bottling

Wine bottling
Wine bottling

Last fall, we had the incredible opportunity to pick Pommard Pinot Noir fruit from Ted Klopp's Thorn Ridge Ranch, the same Russian River Valley vineyard where Inman Family Wines, Freeman Winery and buyers of our fruit, Kosta Browne Winery, get their grapes. We've tracked the winemaking of this fruit through the crushing, fermentation, pressing and malolactic fermentation process. Finally, last weekend, Clay was ready to do the bottling.

Clay was seeing nice balance of fruit flavor and acidity in the wine with a long finish that he suspects will only get better as it ages in the bottle. He decided not to filter it and, instead, let all the aspects of Klopp's amazing vineyard speak through the wine.

"The chemistry of that wine is perfect," he said. "If I was going to take a chance, I thought this would be a good wine to take a chance on."

Gantz Family Vineyards only makes enough wine to share with friends and family (we do not sell it), so the process of bottling the Pinot Noir was quick and painless -- an hour-long, two-person operation in Clay's new winery. Here he explains how it's done:

Now comes the hard part: the waiting. Clay imagines it will be six months to a year before the 11 cases we bottled will be ready for drinking.

To see the evolution of these grapes from harvest to bottling: