Definition - What does Bottling mean?
Bottling is the final stage in the winemaking process and is very important to the final finished product. During bottling, the year's harvested and produced wines are bottled into their final storage vessels that can include traditional glass bottles, Tetra Paks®, bag-lined boxes and cans in today's market.
With both commercial and home wineries, it is important to have knowledge of the types of glass used in winemaking, the shapes and sizes of the storage vessels, corking methods and sterilization processes that need to occur for successful bottling.
WineFrog explains Bottling
There are four main considerations that should be taken during bottling:
- Timing - Bottling too soon or too late can hinder the maturation process of wine which can occur inside the bottle.
- Sanitation - Sterilizing the bottles (inside and out) is crucial before adding any liquids – if any contaminants are in the bottle, they could spoil all the previous hard work put into making the wine.
- Vessel Properties - There are many different types of bottles, most are tinted (bottles for red wine have a green tint) to prevent exposure to UV light which can damage the wine’s chemistry. The shape of the bottle can also denote what varietal is being bottled, as there are different shaped bottles for red and white wines.
- Closures - There are three different types of closures: screw caps (stelvin caps), natural cork and synthetic cork. The type of closure can impact the amount of time needed for bottling and have different benefits for the wine.
Storage after bottling should be upright until the wine and closure has had a chance to settle. The last step is adding the label which can be a huge milestone for the winemaker, as it indicates that the final finished product is available for sale or consumption.