July 14, 2010 | by Maggie Kruse

A common perception of winery life during the summer is that the work prior to the harvest is calm, relaxed: the wines are resting peacefully in cask, the winemaker’s boots resting peacefully under the desk.

I beg to differ.

As Assistant Winemaker at Jordan, one of my primary responsibilities is to manage the entire bottling process from tank to bottle. The task starts back in February, when top-quality wine corks are selected. (Sometimes this involves me flying to Portugal.) The relationships we’ve established with our suppliers in Portugal have helped us maintain a very high quality standard–a Jordan wine cork costs about $1.10 while the industry average is $0.35. Before 2013, I would fly to Tennessee in March to oversee the steel engraving process unique to the Jordan wine label. (The same company that prints your tax refund checks also printed our wine labels for decades.) This chapter in our history closed when conjunctive labeling became law, as explained in our wine label redesign blog.

Before the first drop of Jordan wine falls into a bottle each summer, I have inspected the glass, cardboard and foils, as well as scrunitized, by hand, every piece of our wine bottling equipment. This certainly wasn’t covered in winemaking school. Part winemaker, part crew chief, part mechanic: I honestly feel as if we are sending two children off to college every year! And when the day comes to begin bottling, my first taste of wine begins at 6 a.m., when I check the bottling tank for uniformity. We bottle Cabernet Sauvignon over a six-week period and Chardonnay over a two-week period, from June through July. We always bottle a Cabernet two years after its vintage year and Chardonnay 8-10 months after its vintage. With John Jordan’s arrival as CEO in 2005, we now allow our Cabernet Sauvignons to age a full two years in bottle before release. He also invested in a state-of-the-art new bottling line in 2013, which has decreased bottle shock and helped us decrease any chance of bottle variation. We have a great crew to work on the bottling line, and we all share a commitment of perfection in ensuring every bottle will be regarded as a fine accompaniment on your dining table.

Watch our latest wine bottling video, which takes you on a ride inside the line, thanks to a GoPro.

These preparation and production steps taken to ensure every vintage of Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are bottled under perfect conditions and packaged to our high standards are highlighted in this video.