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Presqu'ile Winery
December 22, 2010 | Presqu'ile Winery

Bottled poetry or Poetry in a bottle

Robert Louis Stevenson once said: “wine is bottled poetry.”


This makes me wonder if he or any other that has romanticized about the drinking of wine, had taken the “bottled” part into consideration when doing so. What was the wine before it was bottled? I think a better way to compare the two would be to say: wine is to the bottle as poetry is to the cover of the book. Making a wine or writing a poem is one thing, but managing it into a product that can be released, or for this matter published, can be a stressful and tedious process. Make no mistake, I agree with the author of ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.’ I just look at it a little different. Wine is indeed poetry, delivered to the people in a bottle.

So after a few delays we set off to finish 1850 cases in a single day. The 9th of December dawned on us with all its glory, the first time estate produced Presquile wine would be bottled on a bottling line. Essentially bottling is divided into two sections. The first part is to fill and cork the bottle; this determines quality more than anything and went extremely well for us this year. The second part is to label and capsule the bottle, all aesthetics orientated. It is here that we found the always-expected delays throughout the day. Our capsule spinner stopped spinning every few hours and the temperature fluctuation outside provided some condensation on the bottles, which hindered labeling during the middle stages of this long day. A little elbow grease solved the problems as always.

Whether you hand-bottle or use a bottling line, this is the point where all the work and financial investment comes together. Even though it’s very pleasing to see the wine reach its end point, I doubt any of us at team Presquile really had the time to stop and appreciate it until the day was completely done. At around 10pm we shut it down, aching bodies appreciated the silence and marveled at the little mountain of case goods we created. Very satisfied and almost to tired to see through the eerie mist that had settled in, we went to go grab some well deserved sleep.

As for which aspect of wine production actually contributes the most or least to the pleasure of consuming it remains a personal opinion, but a bottle brings it together, it provides all the memories with an identity. I agree, liquid poetry is best when poured out of a bottle

I would like to thank everybody that helped us make this day a reality.

Keep on Bottling

Dieter Cronje


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