It's a miracle!
Ask anyone in the art of wine about 'bottling'… they chortle, sigh and finally shake their head saying lowly “it’s a miracle anything ever makes it in the bottle.”
The entire experience of wine is all about patience… interrupted with bursts of chaos.
It starts with long quiet days of Biddle Ranch vines soaking in the Edna Valley sun and their Chardonnay grapes swelling with the rays of light and intermittent raindrops spending what seems like eternity budding, growing and ripening in their own time.
One day, the winemaker walks through the rows of vines, handles a few clusters, tastes selected berries and nods his head. Suddenly the whirlwind of harvest begins; the sun rises with the grapes on the vine and sets with them crushed in their juice in the winery.
Then comes the relaxed, unhurried fermentation and barrel aging. Days turn into weeks turn into months and sometimes turn into years. Until one day, the winemaker walks through the rows of barrels, tests a few drops, savors selected sips and nods his head. And the bedlam of bottling is put into motion.
Some would say that trying to control that which cannot be controlled is insanity. They would say trying to schedule that which knows no time is futile. And yet, vintage after vintage, winemakers do just that.
Perhaps we are all gluttons for punishment, but somehow each year our patience that is marked by chaos drains from the barrels, filters down the bottling line and finally, the object of our passion (complete with moments of panic) fills the bottle in a day that isn’t over until the wine is once again resting.
Miraculously the bottles are now full, the corks are snug in the neck and the cases are waiting through the fascinating and brief phase of bottle-shock. They will continue this patient rest until you slide a bottle out of your wine rack for its next adventure back out from behind the cork.