I skyved off my Plumpton vineyard practical day today to go and work for my friends at Bolney and help with bottling. Over today and tomorrow (I cannot help tomorrow) the plan was to bottle tens of thousands of bottles of sparkling wine, adding a little sugar and yeast and capping with a crown cap to kick off the secondary fermentation to make the wine fizzy, before “disgorging” it in future years to finish the wine.
A mobile bottling line from the Champagne region was on hand. The bottling line is hoisted out of the lorry and into the winery by two very helpful Frenchies who were a joy to work with all day: very professional, full of fun and very calm. The rest of us (8 of us!) ran around like blue-arsed files. I now have “winemakers claw” from lifting of tens of thousands of bottles, but the job’s a good ‘un.