It seems like everything is mobile these days. You can get a dog groomer to fluff Fido’s fur in your driveway, Postmates puts the wide world of delivery food at your fingertips, and apparently we’ll soon have drones dropping off our Amazon orders mere hours after we place them (if you haven’t experienced that magic already). But mobile wine bottling? That can’t be a thing…. right?
It’ll surprise many people to know that not only is mobile bottling a thing, it has been for quite a while. Laura Burgess at Vinepair gives us a look behind-the-scenes at truck-based bottling operations:
Likely, you’ve never heard of it or seen it because mobile bottling lines move incognito, masterfully disguised as plain old tractor-trailers. Inside, however, these truck drivers have swapped cases of beer or groceries for a complex amalgamation of steel bolts, screws, and conveyor belts, all of which give these movable bottling lines their industry nickname: “Million Dollar Trucks.”
Why mobile trucks? As Burgess insightfully puts it:
For small and large wineries, mobile bottlers remove tons of stress, guesswork, and trial and error from bottling. Trucks come complete with operators, and often a small crew well-versed in selecting the best settings for labels, bottles of various sizes, and the knowledge required to fix these machines when something goes wrong.
It’s basically a financial issue, but it’s also an issue of space. Building out on-site bottling facilities takes away acreage and it’s also ridiculously expensive.
It’s a very interesting phenomenon and Burgess’s article gives us all a glimpse into the operation side of winemaking that we don’t often get to see. To get the whole scoop – and you really should – head on over to the original article.