Behind the Scenes: Bottling Wine at CGT

Posted September 20, 2019 in

Behind the Scenes: Bottling Wine at CGT

What goes into the bottling of Chateau Grand Traverse wine and who is in charge of it? Keep reading to learn how CGT staff use complex wine bottling equipment from Italy, and how the important work gets done.

Meet Our Bottling Production Manager

Have you ever wondered who oversees the whole wine bottling process at Chateau Grand Traverse? Meet our Bottling Production Manager, Peter Francisco.

Peter manages all operating procedures; supplies the machines with corks, caps, and labels; and deals with any maintenance issues that arise during the bottling process. Peter and his small team run 40-hour weeks twice each month to bottle up to 12,000 cases of CGT wine. That’s a total of 144,000 bottles!

Our Wine Bottling Machines

The Chateau Grand Traverse wine bottling machines were all specifically selected and purchased from Italy to make the wine bottling process more efficient at CGT. The filler and capper were purchased in 2012 and have since processed almost 12 million bottles of Chateau Grand Traverse wine. The newest machine, the Kosmi labeler, was purchased in March 2019, and has contributed to a much smoother production line.

Our Wine Bottling Process

The process we use may seem complex, but it’s necessary to make sure our wine is thoroughly enjoyed by all consumers. Our CGT team of wine pros see the process through each time and are committed to providing you the best CGT wine experience.

Here are the steps to bottling wine:

Steam Sterilization

Our process begins with the steam sterilization of the equipment that distributes the wine into the bottles. This is done using a programmed function that allows steam to pass through all fill valves. This takes two hours, plus another two to prep the other machines in the next steps of the bottling process.

Rinsing & Capping

Next, wine bottles are carefully rinsed, filled with Chateau Grand Traverse wine, and either corked or screw-capped. This is also the step where colored wine bottles are placed into the machine based on the type of wine being bottled.

Capping the Bottles

After the cork has been inserted or the screw cap placed on, the bottles pass through the shrink capper, which applies a foil cap to the top of the bottle. The foil is then heated to shrink the cap to the bottle.

Labeling the Wine

The production line then stars the labeler, which can apply up to three labels at a time. It also has an attached laser coder to mark time, date, and bottle count. All specific labels for the wine bottle are placed in the labeler, properly marking all of your favorite CGT wines.

Boxing the Wine Bottles

The finished bottles are then boxed and sent through an automatic taper to close the box. The closed box passes through one more machine that applies a label and sprays an ink message to designate which type of wine is inside each box.

The CGT wine bottling process requires one person putting empty bottles onto the line, two people packaging the finished bottles, and one stacking the cases.

Utilizing all of these machines creates a seamless wine bottling process at CGT. The purchase and acquisition of all of these bottling machines required CGT owner Eddie O’Keefe and Francisco to travel to Italy twice to tour the factories and get some hands-on training with the technicians.

These trips were a great learning and cultural experience for Eddie and Peter and also allowed them to visit some of the premier manufacturers of beverage industry equipment.

Take the Chateau Grand Traverse Tour

Ready to take a look into the winemaking and wine bottling process in person? Visit us at Chateau Grand Traverse to learn more about our wines and take the behind the scenes tour!

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