Birds&Bats Wine Productions - Wines of Momentary Destination
Birds & Bats are back in France and preparing to bottle. Corin and Jayne have gone above and beyond to get everything ordered and ready for Birds & Bats and we are nearly ready. We managed to get about 60 litres of wine off the lees, that were put aside with the Polymust; not as much as we were hoping for, but it’s better than nothing! The bulk of the wine was lovely and clear. The end of the tank was a bit too cloudy and we didn’t want to clog up the filter pads when we filtered the stuff, so we ended up with 6 bottles to drink. It tastes bloody great by the way.
The nerves were rising in Birds & Bats’ bellies before flying to France. What could’ve or would’ve happened to the wine whilst they had been away!? A huge number of things fabricated in Birds mind, but of course, it was fine. Protected by the little sulphur that remained from the addition following pressing, the wine has retained all the rich fruit flavour and aroma that could have been lost throughout the whole process. Excellent wine making and scrupulous attention to detail throughout has made sure of this.
Birds modelling the filter pads. Smooth side of filter pads (left) Rough side of filter pads (right). The white colouration of Birds' hand is the result of sulphur used for cleaning, removing the lovely tan she acquired over the summer. Nice.
So the next thing to do was to figure out how to use the plate & frame filter. Following some advice sought through book-face, we now knew how to set it up (thank you Michael Jones). Needing more rubber washers than we thought was necessary, we managed to get the filter running on the third time of trying without it pissing water everywhere. Result! Birds had her heart in her mouth and thought she was going to vom during the whole process (it’s like removing the stabilisers and letting go of the bike for the first time, I imagine!). But, as seems to be the theme with this project, all ran smoothly and turned out fine.
Bats running acidulated water through the plate and frame filter. This adjusts the pH so that the pads are prepared for the wine to be passed through and gets rid of the taste of the filter pads, which can be a bit cardboardy.
The next challenge was to get the stuff into bottle. Corin and Jayne had arranged to borrow the bottling, corking and labelling machine from a local and rather obtuse vigneron, who made it more difficult than was necessary to get hold of the equipment, which when was procured, was in the most disgusting state. The stink that emanated from the bottling machine was akin to the gubbins that lies at the bottom of a pond created by toad excrement. Gross. Jayne and Birds had to travel back with the windows of the car open (it’s bloody freezing in France by the way) to avoid retching. Eugh…
Well, we got it all back and gave it all a right good clean. No bugs here, thank you very much. All set and ready for bottling. The corking machine was manned by Birds, Bats had the wine udders ready to go and Jayne was set ready to label the bottles.
Ah, yes, the labels…Upon setting the thing up and working out how to thread the spool onto the machine, we realised that the labels had been wound the wrong way, meaning that we had to re-wind all 1000 labels so we could get them on the bottles. *Sigh* Oh well, needs must and all that. The labelling could be done the next day. It wasn’t too much of a problem and soon we were in a decent flow with bottles piling up everywhere. After 7 hours we were done. Just like that. A few glitches with the bottling machine, but that is always expected, and we didn’t loose a drop. In fact, we were a few bottles over, meaning we could drink them. Happy Days.
The next day Birds & Bats worked on getting the labels on the bottles and into boxes. That took about 6 hours and we finished with a grand total of 772 bottles. A little less than we were aiming for, but the results of the settling and attempted lees recovery was not as successful as we were hoping. This is very limited stuff people and the fact that the wine is excellent means that you are going to have to be quick to get your hands on it. Don’t hesitate! Get in touch now!!
Birds & Bats are relieved, elated, filled up with litres of tea and cannot wait to get back and start selling the stuff.
Next exciting episode: How to keep your cool when the French shippers are too lazy to come and collect your wine.