How Wine is Bottled
Bottling systems range from small manual machines used by home winemakers to entirely mechanized assembly lines used by massive wineries. New bottling systems are getting faster and more mechanized. The basic steps include sterilizing the bottle, removing the oxygen, filling the bottle to the proper level, inserting corks, attaching capsules, and labeling the wine.
But first, the winery depalletises their bottles, meaning they remove them from the paletts and the packing material they were shipped in. The bottles are then sterilized with air or water and then usually filled with carbon dioxide to remove the oxygen. At this point, the bottles are filled with wine and topped with another dosage of carbon dioxide to discourage oxidation. Then it is time for inserting corks.
Wine Bottle Sizes
Although the vast majority of wines are 750 mL, there are a variety of wine bottle sizes. These range from one-quarter to 20 times the standard size. Many of the larger bottles are used for special edition wines and are often sold at auction.
Wine bottles are also made in different colors and shapes. They are associated with particular European regions and styles of wine. For example, Burgundy bottles have a long neck that gradually slopes to a wide base. In both California and Burgundy, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the traditional grapes that use this bottle. On the other hand, Bordeaux bottles have a shorter neck that slopes more abruptly into squared-off shoulders. It is more cylindrical than the Burgundy bottle.
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