Posts Tagged ‘Jaffus’

Jaffurs Bottling

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Have you guys ever done bottling?  Jaffurs was bottling this last weekend and asked Wine Club members to pitch in.  I was excited to participate.  The parents decided to come into town for Labor Day weekend so I brought them along.  We took the second shift (12-5pm), of course the shift starting with free mexican lunch and wine.  We enjoyed lunch and were quickly put to work.  My first job was moving all the cases of empty wine bottles from the pallet to the trailer (in the driveway was a huge trailer from Mission Bottles that had an assembly line in it to fill, cork, seal and label the bottles.)  So this job was a tad labor intensive.  Craig Jaffurs was nice enough to set up an umbrella for us to shield us from the sun.  We did that for a long time bottling the 2007 Santa Barbara Cty Syrah.  We took a quick break while switching to Mouvedre.  Job change.  Now I’m on the line putting the full wine bottles into the cases.  Here’s how it goes: I take the first 6 bottles coming down the line, put them in the same spot in the box and pass it to the person next to me, which happens to be Beth.  She fills the other 6, closes the box and then puts it through the machine that tapes the case closed.   This is fun for about the first 15 minutes then you realize you can’t really do a whole lot else.  Later in the day I do this job again and they put a beer in front of me, and the game is to take a sip of beer while trying to keep the cases moving and no bottles from piling up.  Other jobs included emptying the cases of empty wine bottles onto the conveyor belt (I think this is probably the most labor intensive), being on the other end watching the finished bottles come off the line looking for any drips, mis labels, mis caps or bottles not full all the way, stamping the sealed case with the date stamp and finally moving the case from the belt to the pallet.  I guess then there’s also wrapping the pallet once it’s full and moving it into the warehouse.   I’ll just say that when we finished at 6:30pm after the Syrah, Movedre and Petite Syrah we were exhausted.  Just being on our feet for that long alone.  We were supposed to bbq that night but smartly decided to eat out.  Each of us got 3 bottles of wine (those that we bottled.)  Would I do it again?  Probably.  I thought it was kind of funny.  But not everyone I was with was so fast to jump up. Yes, we were tired and sore the next day but that adds to the humor.