Troy and I have harvested olives and we have been to the press. Now, it’s time to bottle.
Guido bottles all of his wine and olive oil by hand. As an artist, his labels are renditions of his paintings.
This process may be obvious, but we wanted to share it because of the time, thoughtfulness and precision required. Hand bottling is an excellent example of how Italians treat their products with care.
Bottling is a simple job, but it takes dexterity. Bottles need to be filled just so, with labels centered and the end product containing no smudges or fingerprints.
Troy and I have a large bottling job today—250 bottles for one of Guido’s French clients. This is the perfect day to capture the bottling process. We had better know this process by heart after bottling 250 of these buggers.
Below is the process of bottling olive oil (and wine for that matter) by hand:
Step 1: Fill the Bottle
The bottles have to be given a once over to be sure they are perfectly clean. Next we fill a 750ml bottle up to the base of the bottle neck. This step usually requires a small light placed behind the bottle so that we can see through the dark green glass (dark glass protects oil from light). Once the bottle is filled appropriately, wipe any drips off of the exterior.
Step 2: Cork the Bottle
Using a cork machine, force a Guido Gualandi branded cork into each bottle. I can hear the creaking sound of this machine in my sleep.
Step 3: Foil Seal
Secure a foil cover on the top of the bottle and use a vacuum machine to seal it into place. This adds a second layer of security to the bottle. No air is getting in now.
Step 4: Label
Place two labels on each bottle. The front label is larger and has a sticky back. Its job is to brand the bottle. The back label is smaller and requires glue. Its role is to state the amount of olive oil contained as well as the use by date. Guido’s labels are personalized and beautiful.
Step 5: Clean the Bottles
Finally, wipe the bottles clean of drips, glue and fingerprints.
Now we have a fresh bottle of extra virgin olive oil made from scratch! What a feat. As I hold a finished bottle and think about the fact that it contains juice of the very olives that Troy and I picked, I feel pride.
And then we taste it. It blows our socks off. I think I’m falling in love with this extra virgin olive oil.
Now… see the CSP-TV tab to watch us bottle in person.