Final Bottling

Winemaker Bruce McGuire, shown here, is in the last stages of bottling before being overwhelmed by the harvest. Bruce is filtering Chardonnay. The wine has been cooled to 30F to crystallize the tartrates that are naturally part of the wine. The filtering is to remove the tartrates as well as any suspended solids that are still there.

The cooling requires about two weeks and once the wine is stable, that is the tartrates have crystallized, it is passed through a diatomaceous filter. Diatomaceous earth consists of ‘fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae’ (Wikipedia) and is universally used in the wine industry. After filtering, the wine will be allowed to warm up, and at bottling will pass through a finer membrane filter calibrated at absolute .45 microns.

This is a procedure we use for all white wines and very rarely for reds. Reds are chilled, as well, but are given more time to settle and the resulting clean wine can be bottled without filtration. Red wine is more complex and passing through a filter may damage the wine and its more nuanced flavors.

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