Sparkling wine services: riddling and tirage bottling

Our riddling plant offers bottling, riddling, foiling and labelling facilities.

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Welcome to the video about our riddling and tirage process. The process starts with the bulk wine being offloaded from a receipt tank into our calibrated stainless-steel vat. We had yeast, nutrients and adjuvants to the wine in preparation for tirage bottling. Next the bottles are moved to our gyropallet. Bottles are pre-packed in a stillage, which is another name for a metal cage, which is then loaded into one cube of the gyropallet. An automated cycle then gradually, by a series of jerking movements, moves the stillage through 90 degrees, moving the sediment to the neck of the bottle. This process typically takes seven days. This is a schematic showing particles, that is yeast and adjuvants, which help move the sediment to the neck of the bottle until all of the sediment is in the neck under the crown cap. One of my colleagues is now moving the bottles from the stillage into the neck freezer. The neck freezer contains calcium chloride at minus 28 degrees centigrade and freezes the neck and sediment in ten minutes. Once frozen, the necks of the bottles are washed and posted through the hatch for the next stage of the process.

This is the vent behind which lies the air filter ensuring only sterile air is pumped into the room, creating a positive pressure, helping to reduce the possibility of air and insect ingress. A UV light will kill any insects which may break through this barrier.

The neck, sediment and frozen wine are shown in a close-up here.

We now move to the process which is called désgorgement. The first stage is removing the crown cap, once this happens the pressure inside the bottle forces the pellet of sediment out a mechanical thumb and seals the bottle. During désgorgement additions can also be made to the liquid prior to corking and wiring.

The bottles are being cooked and wired, if they were not wired the pressure inside the bottle, often up to six bar pressure, would push the cork out.

Bottles are then externally washed and dried before being passed out of another hatch, out of the sterile room, heading for the final stages of the process. This shows the foil application in two stages: the first crimps the foil, the second layers it on to the bottle. The final part is the labelling, this is a self-adhesive label which allows us to dress the bottles with three labels: front, back and neck.

These facilities and our expertise is available to help support your business. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can help you.

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