VT Bottling Bulletin

Brief Bottling Bulletin

Dr. Beth Chang, Enology Extension Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Greetings! Are you bottling? Will you be shortly? Then this is the bulletin for you! We’ve started receiving some (always welcome) questions, and a few instances of post-bottling refermentation have also been communicated. To help address these queries, several reliable resources are listed below that can be of assistance whether you are bottling yourself, or working with a bottling partner. Additionally, over the coming months, VTEnology will be collaborating with the Virginia Wineries Association to develop a curriculum surrounding safe bottling practices and productive relationships with bottling partners. Programming on this topic will be presented at the annual VWA conference in November. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to Beth Chang (eabc@vt.edu) with any questions, concerns, or issues related to this subject.

For general guidelines on bottling preparation, please see these two extension publications from former Penn State Extension Enologist, Denise Gardner:

For audiovisual learners and for those wanting a thorough refresher on preparing for/executing a chemically and microbially stable bottling process, please watch this excellent video by Todd Steiner, Enology Program Manager and Outreach Specialist at The Ohio State University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Z9ZvvQ4zc

For those wanting to delve into the nitty-gritty of bottling, and for tips on establishment of quality control tracking when working with a mobile bottling line, here is VESTA instructor Zoran Ljepovic’s presentation on Bottling Line Readiness:


If you are in urgent need of additional instruction in this matter, a 3-part webinar series is available for purchase:


Along with staying below the maximum flow rate (Vmax), ensuring filter integrity throughout the bottling process is critical. Therefore, please see these 2 videos and 1 handout on performing filter integrity tests (aka the bubble tests). The Scott Labs video is a short overview; the Gusmer Enterprises one is longer, but features a presentation on filtration principles along with a nice demonstration at the end:

Scott Labs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T38rdaVae0

Gusmer Enterprises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAiEunJhDK4

Scott Labs Bubble Test handout: https://wine.appstate.edu/sites/wine.appstate.edu/files/Bubble%20Point%20Test.pdf

Finally, for a thorough review of filtration, see this learning module from Zoecklein & Fugelsang:https://www.apps.fst.vt.edu/extension/enology/downloads/wm_issues/Winery%20Filtration.pdf

Note: This bulletin will also be posted on VTEnology.com for future reference.