Monday, January 4th, 2010...1:42 pm

Bottling the Pinot Noir of 2009

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A family occasion, Sunday morning in the winery.

As you can see its all done on a very small scale here at Il Masin. The bottles are first sterilized over smokey fires in large “sufurias” of boiling water with metabisulphite. This began early morning with Muia, Mutiso and Michael getting this going before breakfast. One draw back of this cleaning method is that the glass takes a while to cool down. I worry about putting wine into a hot bottle – its got to get to room temperature in my mind.

A very efficient chain of responsibilities took shape. I sat on the floor with the hose attached to the bottom of the stainless steel vat, and bottle by bottle filled them with this years Pinot Noir.

Its very smooth and quite a lot darker in colour this time. It completed the Malolactic and six weeks ago I added some egg white to the wine as it had not fallen bright. I sat topping up the bottles by the light of a gas lamp, with Seiyias help from time to time.

The bottles were then moved on to the corking machine, which Alexia and Seiyia efficiently dropped a new cork into after each bottle was pulled out.

The cleaned and corked bottles were then moved into the next room where my mother wiped them dry and counted up from 200.

And then my father carefully steamed the shrink caps on to their necks!

Next weekend we have the sticky job of glueing labels on to the bottles. We managed a messy 30 lables but the smell of delicately barbequed quails painted with lemon juice and masala forced us to make our way up the hill for another fine lunch on my parents veranda.


  • It is always a big pleasure to come back to the story of your Pinot production- may it become a never ending one!

    Your pictures remind me of my first bottling at Lisson, up to 8 years ago,I used exactly the same method – sitting on the floor, to be able to do it by gravity – always trying to stop at the right level – never able to do so at the first try…

    Now we are using a small, mechanical Italian machine which works without electricity and stops always at the same level – but the corking process is still the same as on your pictures. And labels are too cut out by hand one by one and we stick them on the bottles with milk:-).

    It’s a pity that we are so far away from one another, otherwise I would very much like to make an exchange of our Pinot production from Lisson and Zabibu!

  • Hi Louise. Sure wish I could try some of your wine!

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