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 Bottling the 2001 great classified growths 


23 August 2002

As early as 6:00 am, the truck, fitted out with the bottling equipment from Hertzog, was set up in the estate’s hangar. Once again this year, this company came to bottle the Grands Crus (for the regional wines from the Noble Valley, this operation took place in July) for Seppi Landmann just as it does for many other wine makers in Alsace.



The varieties that were bottled that day were: Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé Riesling,Tokay and Gewurztraminer, The Noble Valley late harvest Tokay and Gewurztraminer, late harvest Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé Riesling.


The operations:

1. The wine is pumped into stainless steel tanks where it was matured. It then goes into a buffer tank (to guarantee the constant flow of wine into the bottling equipment) before going through filters.

2. Once filtered there is no impurities left in the wine and it is sucked into the filling unit.




3. At the other end of the line, the empty bottles are taken off the pallets and...

...put on the conveyor belt and taken to the rinsing unit.

4. With the gravity filling unit, the wine goes down into the bottles in a vacuum.

5. The corks are compressed and pressed into the neck of the bottles where a vacuum has been made to eliminate all the air. For experimental purposes this year, some synthetic corks were used for a few lots.

6. The bottles continue their way to a resting bay where they stay for a few minutes so that the corks have the time to return to their original diameter. This has to be done so that the bottles become watertight for later handling operations. A big visible-to-all meter records the number of corked bottles to be able to determine the cost of the filling operation (6 euro centimes per bottle plus a fixed amount for the filtering).


7. Now all that is left to do is put the bottles back on the pallets while waiting to put the labels on. A reference card summarizes all the details of each batch (bottling date, year, grape variety, quality, N° of centilitres in the bottle, brand of the cork, pallet N°, lot N°, number of bottles).

Observations: when the unit is working at continuous full capacity it bottles approximately 3,800 bottles per hour. However, this capacity is reduced because the type of bottles changes and the number of manipulations increases. Magnums have to be corked by hand.