Chapter 13

Bottling Wine

(book excerpts)

The long process of transformation from grape to wine has been completed. The final blend has been made; the wine has been stabilized, and the wine filtered. To ensure the wines are stable before bottling winemakers conduct several analytical tests such free sulfur dioxide concentration and residual sugar. The winemaker may opt for the inclusion of chemical preservatives in order to limit risk of microbiological spoilage after bottling. Bottling is the last process where added dissolved oxygen can have a significant negative impact on the quality and aging potential of the wine. Thus, extreme care must be employed in minimizing the amount of oxygen entry at bottling. Carbon dioxide is an important component of wine, especially white wines. Dissolved carbon dioxide can impact the flavor, freshness, texture, or acidity of a given wine. However, the level of carbon dioxide may need to be adjusted based on the winemaker's preference. After wine receives their final adjustments of oxygen, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, it is ready for bottling. All that remains is bottling the wine. The bottling of wines is arguably the most important of all winemaking operations since it determines the condition in which the wine is delivered to the market. There are all shapes and sizes of bottling lines: from a manual one bottle at a time, to computerized lines handling hundreds of bottles a minute. Regardless of the type of bottling line, there are procedures and precautions practiced by all. The preparation of wines for bottling, the steps involved in bottling, and the aspects of their behavior under bottle storage conditions are the subjects addressed in this chapter.

Click on the following topics for more information on bottling wine.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Pre-Bottling Wine Adjustments
  • Filtration
  • Pre-Bottling Analysis
  • Alcohol
  • Free and Total Sulfur Dioxide
  • Glucose and Fructose
  • Malic Acid Concentration
  • Microbial Stability
  • Residual Sugar
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Volatile Acidity
  • Microbiological Stabilization
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Sorbic Acid
  • Dimethyl-Carbonate
  • Oxygen Management
  • Total Package Oxygen
  • Headspace Oxygen
  • Measurement of Dissolved Oxygen
  • Sparging
  • Sources of Dissolved Oxygen
  • Carbon Dioxide Adjustments
  • Carbon Dioxide Levels
  • Measuring Carbon Dioxide
  • Wine Bottling Operations
  • Mobile Bottlers
  • Sanitation of Bottling Line
  • Decaser/Depalletizer
  • Bottling Room
  • Membrane Filtration
  • Bottling Lines
  • Monoblocks
  • Mechanical Systems versus Computerized Systems
  • Bottle Rinsing
  • Bottle Filling
  • Fill Levels
  • Temperature Effects
  • Fill Height and Ullage Distance
  • Cork-Insertion Machines
  • Screw Cap Machines
  • Capsulators
  • Labeling Machines
  • Case Packers and Sealers
  • Wine Bottle Storage
  • Storing Wines' Neck Up or Neck Down?
  • Bottle Shock
  • Aging Period
  • Wine Cellar Environment