An Agritourism opportunity come up via Facebook last week with an invitation from Cru Winery to come and observe their wine bottling process, all contained in a special bottling trailer.
Often times we are asked by outsiders, “What makes Madera County great and why would anyone consider moving to your area?” Many things come to mind when answering that particular question however stories and experiences are what captures the inquirer’s attention. Madera County is rich in agriculture which is an asset that sets us apart from other areas around the country. One time we had a Site Selector from Chicago ask us if a field of vineyards were apple trees. It was all Bobby and I could do not to chuckle and answer the gentleman with a straight face!
So when I saw the offer to come and freely explore a local winery’s bottling process I thought to myself this is one of those things that makes our community special.
When I arrived unannounced to the winery I was welcomed by the staff and guided to the temporary bottling plant. Cru Winemaker, Ken Post was supervising the operation and giving impromptu tours at the same time. He happily showed me around and talked me through the process. That day they were bottling their 2013 Chardonnay. They started at 6am and finished around 6pm. During that time they bottled 2,780 cases of wine at 300 bottles per hour. The mobile bottling plant travels around the state bottling at small wineries and is privately owned.
Before leaving Ken invited me to come back again for “Crush”. He will have the winery open to anyone that wants to experience the intense practice of grape harvesting. I imagine you can expect tidal waves of grapes coming to the winery in truck loads, fresh off the vine, with workers standing by with crushing equipment, barrels, chemicals and yeast to start the crucial wine making process. It sounds like fun to me! To learn more about Cru visit http://cruwinecompany.com/
Entrance of Cru
Rolls of Labels
Inside of mobile Bottling trailer at Cru
Outside of the mobile bottling trailer with a view of the production line
Labels set up for the bottles of Chardonnay
Production line with finished wine bottles