Inspiration Red (Cabernet/Syrah blend) is next.
The days and weeks leading up to our first ever bottling were exciting and challenging. The exciting aspect was tasting and blending the 2010 releases to fully showcase the fruit. Who would have thought that 1% of Petite Sirah blended with the Zinfandel would make a big difference? But it did! The Inspiration Red is always fun when it comes time for blending. How much Syrah is necessary to balance the Cabernet? Every year is a little different, but it’s always a joy to put the finishing touches on this unique blend. The challenging part was working with the federal government’s TTB division for the first time to obtain approvals on our labels and making last-minute modifications at press time! Many lessons learned. The real fun began on an unusually sunny and hot morning on Treasure Island, Thursday, May 24th, when we set up our very first bottling line. Within 6 hours, 16 barrels (960 gallons) of wine were transformed into approximately 400 cases of Heartfelt wines. We called on Artisan Mobile Bottling to provide the equipment, and family and friends came out to help. With a top speed of 100 cases per hour, we were able to hit that mark for a few minutes during the day. We did though have lots of laughs and no major injuries. First up was the Zinfandel. It took us a few cases to get the rhythm down, but soon we had 2 pallets and 120 cases safely put away. Without much let up, we moved through the Petite Sirah, Inspiration Red, and finally the Muse (Syrah). All 400 cases were completed by 1pm. The crew, though not experienced nor very fast, was giving of all they had. A heartfelt effort by one and all.

You can see some pictures of the bottling process in the gallery Bottling the 2010 Vintages