Packaging and Delays

Hello again,

some of you may know that we offered our 2009s in 2010 during our inaugural En Primeur campaign. Everything went well since then. The wines sold out. Many people have come to sample the wines in barrel, bottling went with only two or three hitches, and labels came out looking just as I wanted them to. One tiny detail did come about, however. Capsules.

I initially intended to use nothing but wax. I’ve always thought they were a pain, until trying to open a few producers’ bottles that used a tree sap which softened the wax and made things fairly tidy to remove. I was sold! This is what I would do! I would wax Every bottle with a special machine. (I saw the price of the machine) Ok….I will wax each bottle by hand. This is the way to do it anyhow.

And so, when a few UK clients asked to pick up at the winery, I decided it was time to put the process to a test. I’m sure they  can show vouch for this by showing some photos. But, suffice to say, this small run of maybe 40 bottles (they became less and less cringe-worthy until they improved to being merely hideous) were the worst hand-dipped bottles I’ve ever seen. I convinced myself they looked ‘alright’ and even showed my wife. Luckily, she talked some sense in to me.

I immediately dashed about in search of capsules that would be special enough to top our bottles. Nothing seemed suitable. However, just before harvest, I found a company in Beaune that does a hell of a job in capsules as well as with wooden and cardboard cases. I designed the box and waited for the factory to return with proofs. And waited, and waited, and waited.

They’ve finally gotten back to me with the proofs. On the image, you will see three choices I wanted to be able to choose from when specifying the design. I’ve since chosen number 2.

The red used here matches the red on my labels. The turn around time on boxes is much shorted, being just over a week. These are done in-house. I’ve just received the proofs on the cardboard version that I designed, however, the red is a cherry red, not the deeper red that is consistent with the rest of the packaging. This will be addressed within the week and re-proofed. Overall, I’m very pleased with it all. However, it comes with the cost of having a delay given to those that ordered my wines such a long time ago. All things considered, I believe that most would prefer a two month delay with proper packaging versus lopsided beret-like wax or generic capsules with the ubiquitous grape cluster on top of them.

I’ve made it a point to begin personally calling each of the 80 or so wine lovers that were supportive (and adventurous!) enough to buy our wines in our inaugural year. Just 30% through the list at the moment. I still wish to express my unending appreciation for your support and patience throughout this first cycle. The 2010s will be bottled in April 2012 and will be leaving our winery on their way to our clients shortly thereafter now that all the seams have come together.

PS One last issue that is bugging me and needing to be edited are the lowest text on the case as they don’t have proper accents above the ‘a’ and ‘o’. Small details, but if I look past a detail such as this, what is stopping me from overlooking another detail. Slopes being slippery and such.



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