Monday, December 22, 2008

Wine labeling

We labeled our 2006 Merlot wine today! It's always a fun job - apart from the label machine.

We borrow a label machine, so we can't really complain, but it has it's frustrations. We spent most of Saturday afternoon trying to get it to put on the labels with the correct space between the front and the back. But it was inconsistent...and when it's inconsistent, its tough to change a setting and have an effect because sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not.

Anyhow - we had two batches to label and our trusty labeling team assembled at 9:30am. The team was Bill and Sue - our Sonoma friends and John and I. We were at Havens winery, so also helped by John and Mike (- the son-in-law and son of Bill and Sue! - yes - keep it in the family). In the photo, from the left is me, Bill at the back, Sue and John.

The first batch was a little erratic in terms of the label machine - but it seemed to warm up after a while. We all had our own job - which we've each done for a few years now!!! Highly technical stuff! John opens the case of wine and puts it on the conveyor belt. Sue hands me a bottle of wine and I put it on the machine, press the foot pedal and hope the label will go on OK. I check it, pass it back to Sue who puts it on another case...and when that case is full, Bill puts it through the taping machine to close it and stacks it on the pallet!!!

We labelled 45 cases today - and had a good time to chat and catch up as we worked. Then we drove it home and carried it all down into the cellar.

This year's label was lime green - my favourite colour!!! Yippee!!!! You can just make it out in the photos. Each year, we change the color and the little story on the back. It's normally about the Birds at our Birdland Vineyard. Here's this year's story:

"This year we welcomed the return of Quentin the California Quail. Hearing his unusual call, seeing his bobbing top-knot feathers, and then meeting his new family - Queenie and their 13 little chicks, was just such a pleasure. So in his honor, as you enjoy our 2006 Birdland Merlot, make a toast to families everywhere."

Thanks, Bill and Sue, for your help. Now all we have to do is enjoy the wine!

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