This blog is part of a series in which we will take an in depth look at the regional wine industry.
Sunday’s at Parker-Binns Vineyard in the Tryon area are known as Sunday Funday. You’ll likely find families with kids and old friends with dogs, and certainly a lot of regulars all enjoying a fun time while listening to a local talented musician, enjoying free handmade pizza, and sipping on the craft artisan award winning wines produced from estate grown fruit.
Not much thought likely goes into just how that wine got bottled. It is true, some smaller production wineries may have bottling equipment and some will hand bottle wine. Parker-Binns will sometimes bottle on their own equipment in house. However, a much more efficient process is often utilized.
Introducing the “million dollar truck.” A mobile bottling operation which is referred to as such due to the million dollar investment required for the machinery inside the trailer.
The outside is plain as a normal eighteen wheeler, nothing really gives away the complexity of the machinery inside!The truck sets up right outside your local winery. Hoses are connected to pump the wine from the wineries tanks or barrels. With the push of a button bottles are fed down a conveyor. Wine is filled to precise levels and the bottles sent on down the line to be labeled and corked. The conveyor line circles around so that workers can load into boxes and stacked on pallets. The process takes about 7-8 individuals to keep the process moving.
The truck can bottle upwards of 1500 cases per day. Several of these trucks are now operating along the East Coast and you could pass one and not even know it. There’s the story and now you know a big secret. It’s very likely that your wine was bottled in the back of a tractor trailer!
Winemaker Justin Taylor was busy organizing the entire process, however we were able to catch his ear for a couple of questions. Justin notes the efficiency of the bottling truck helps to justify the expense. Parker-Binns on this day bottled approximately 550 cases of Petit Manseng, Muscat, and a couple of other varietals. So we have now confirmed plenty of wine has been bottled for your next outing and you now know the secret of just how that wine was bottled. Cheers!!