Mise en bouteille du vin : comment ça marche ?

Wine bottling: how does it work?

If you are a curious wine lover, you may have ever wondered how wine is bottled? From preparing the wine to bottling, including the necessary tools, we tell you everything about bottling wine .

Bottling wine step by step

Bottling can be done in different ways. The winemaker can choose to call on an external professional, carry out this step himself, or even sell his wine before bottling it. Whatever the situation, bottling always takes place in the same way.

Preparing the wines

Before obtaining a beautiful final bottle, closed with a cork and decorated with a pretty label, several steps are necessary to prepare the wine . Without mentioning the classic winemaking stages, such as alcoholic fermentation or maceration, other techniques must be applied.

For example, winegrowers will have to measure the CO2 content (carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide), so as not to have gas rising to the surface when the bottle is opened. For example, bottles of still wine must contain less than 1000 mg/l to avoid bubbles forming. If the carbon dioxide level is not good, winegrowers must carry out decarbonization or carbonication (or gassing and degassing).

Sterilization of equipment

To ensure consumer safety and the quality of the wine, all equipment used for bottling must be sterilized . Everything must therefore be washed and rinsed to ensure that no micro-organisms or residue persist.

Remember that the wine is placed in the bottle for a long time. Improper sterilization could contaminate the wine and make it unfit for consumption. It is therefore necessary to wash empty bottles and filling machines.

Filling each bottle of wine

Nowadays, technological developments have greatly simplified certain stages of wine making. For bottling, the majority of bottlers use an automatic or manual filler , in which they place the wine so that it is pumped or poured into the bottle in the ideal quantity.

During this meticulous stage, the wine must be maintained at a temperature between 16 and 21°C . Filling should therefore not be too rapid, at the risk of heating the wine, nor too slow, at the risk of cooling the wine.

Finally, it is imperative to leave at least 1 cm of space between the wine and the neck , to ensure that you can correctly position the cork.

For filling by hand, the winemaker can use a self-regulating funnel to ensure that the perfect amount of wine is poured into the bottle.

Corking wine bottles

The next step is to cap the full bottles with corks, plastic caps or a screw cap. The goal is to make the bottle completely airtight , to protect the wine from air and humidity.

Here again, sealing the wine bottle can be done using an automatic machine, or by hand, with a lever machine.

Closing with a cork is then followed by overcorking . The bottler then applies sealing wax directly to the neck or adds an aluminum capsule. The goal is to protect the cap so that it does not get damaged.

Wine dressing

After being roughly handled, the bottles are left to rest completely for a few hours, so that the wine does not suffer other disturbances which would jeopardize the stability of the wine. Indeed, the bottling process is rather aggressive for the wine, so it is advisable to carry out the steps as delicately as possible, and then let the wine recover from its emotions.

The last step then consists of placing a label on each bottle , in order to always have information about the wine, and to be able to easily differentiate it from the others. The wine labels then have all the obligatory information, and are stuck on each bottle.

All that remains is to box the bottles and send them to your retailer.

How to bottle your own wine?

In a previous article, we saw that it was entirely possible to make wine at home . In the same way, the traffic jam does not pose any kind of difficulty. Bottling at home can therefore be done by hand, following the same steps as those of the professional winemaker.

It will then be a matter of adapting each step to have the best sanitary conditions and ensure quality bottling, which will not spoil your personal production. So you can buy empty bottles or reuse bottles and sterilize them in boiling water , before pouring your wine into them.

To cork your bottles, you will need to purchase corks and a corker , in order to hermetically seal your containers.

Remember to stick a small label on each bottle, so you don't get lost among your bottles. To do this, you can use a white sticker and write down the essential information: vintages, grape varieties, etc.

Each step of the winemaking process plays a crucial role in the quality of the wine and its storability. Bottling follows a precise process which guarantees the best conditions for transporting and storing the wine for many months, even several years.

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