Bottling

After fermentation and aging (if applicable) a wine is ready for its final home, the bottle. Prior to bottling some California wineries, not all, will filter the wine. This process removes impurities such as bacteria, which may spoil the wine, and certain acids, which can crystallize and leave a crusty residue in bottle or glass. Some wineries however, argue that filtering also remove some of the flavor and aroma, thereby negatively altering the character of the wine. Sulfites are also added to most wines in order to prevent spoilage. Once wine is transferred into bottles on the bottling line it can either be shipped directly to market for immediate consumption or held back by the winery for further aging, as is often the case with “reserve” California Wines.


There are several different types (shapes) of bottles that tend to correspond with wine style. The two most common are Bordeaux for red wines – a straight slender bottle with high shoulders and a deep “punt” – and Burgundy for white wines and red wines – shorter and more squat with a gentle taper to the neck. The “punt” is the indentation at the bottom of a bottle that makes it easier to turn on the rack in the cellar. Traditionally, wines intended to cellar-age for a longer period were put into bottles with a deeper punt. A wide variety of popular bottle styles from around the world are used by California wineries, which you will learn more about on your Napa wine country tour or Sonoma winery tour.


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