Welcome

What would wine be without a label? (We do have a word for naked wine bottles…they’re called “shiners.”) Join me on a quick road trip as I travel to our wine label printer’s factory, MPI Label in Stockton Ca. After the wine team completes the brand identity, trademark, label design, and the required label approval from the federal government, the final artwork is sent to the label printer’s pre-press team. Then it’s time for the wine label press check:

Paper

Long before the wine label press check, the decision of which paper to use is critical – every option from bright white felt to creamy eggshell is available to the wine label designers.

Raw paper

Those are huge! After the paper type is selected, the process starts with palleted spools of 1-ton raw paper sitting on the press factory floor. 

Nunez 1

The press team will run a sample of our client’s label for the client’s rep (me) to approve, thus the term press check. Here, our client’s artwork, the Nunez Vineyards Napa Cabernet, is the approved ‘control’ label given to the press operator who must precisely match this artwork throughout the entire press run.

Sovare

And this press check proof is for another of our clients, the DeAcetis Family “Sovare,” a field blend of Sonoma Mountain Cabernet, Sangiovese, and Zin wine.

Salami label on spools

After running through the 1/4 mile long press, the label paper emerges as a continuous roll of almost-finished printed labels.

Video – watch the label printing on the press

Salami labels on roll

Whether it’s Safeway, Whole Foods, or Sonoma Market, food labels start with artwork that moves onto large rolls of paper and ends up here, as labels ready to apply to the package, in this case, Columbus Dry Salame.

Soap on spools

Here’s another example, in this case, many thousands of labels of a familiar brand of hand soap headed to Costco.

Soap

And a close-up of the hand soap label.

Bottling: after printing and processing, the labels make their way to the bottling line…

Mobile bottling filler

At the bottling line, new empty wine bottles are cleaned, ‘sparged’ with an inert food-grade gas which remove all oxygen, and then filled with wine.

Labels on bottles

After wine, cork, and capsule, the cut and spooled labels are applied to the wine bottles.

Video – of finished cases exit the bottling line

Palletized cases of labeled wine

Palletized and stretch-wrapped pallets of wine head to the chilled fulfillment warehouse, and eventually to your home! In 20 short months, from harvest to finished product, your deep dark inky red wine is ready for delivery.

In other news around Sonoma – chickens, frittata, tacos, fresh produce, recipes, sourdough, art, walnut trees, and more:

Kids in ‘school’

Neighborhood kids visit Hydeout Sonoma and the Dysfunctional Family chicken coop during a home-schooling exercise.

Chicken Olympics

On top of an alfalfa bale, Buff wins bronze, Orpington wins silver, and Henny Penny wins gold.

Fritatta

And the delicious result is a cooked-to-perfection low-fat high-protein zucchini frittata – try this recipe with some eggs and squash

Tacos!

My personal favorite place to buy fresh-made corn “Azteca style” tortillas. Use navigation to find it!

Heuvos Rancheros

Enjoying our homemade farm fresh tacos – brings a brief pause to the endless fires and virus isolation – here’s a good taco recipe

Summer produce

More mid-August produce from Hydeout Sonoma – this year’s various Zebra tomatoes are the clear winners – the green zebra is one this year’s favorites – learn more about heirloom green zebras

Hydeout Sonoma Produce

Hydeout Sonoma grew all the food in this photo…except one item. Can you guess? Where’s Waldo? (Yeh, it’s the watermelon). My favorite squash is the Pattypan. Small, sweet, few seeds, entirely edible with little waste – try growing some of your own Pattypans.

Sourdough

Oh no…but wait, oh yes… it’s the cliché shelter-in-place stay-at-home social-distancing no-hugging barely-risen amateur sourdough – try this super-easy sourdough recipe

But wait, there’s more…

CBW at SVMA

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art launched a terrific new show, “california rocks’ just as the virus shut down Sonoma. This is a fantastic collection of photographs from many of the best rock shows in the Bay Area during the 70’s, from the Cow Palace, Winterland, Day-on-the-Green, and many more – see it online here: Sonoma Valley Museum of Art – ‘California Rocks”

Fires, again!
Napa fire

 Oh no, here we go again. Last time it was the wind and downed power lines, this time it was ferocious lighting strikes, a rarity in NorCal. This was the start of it, as viewed from Hydeout looking east over Arrowhead Mountain toward Napa Valley over the hill.

Fire

And a few days later…this is a view of the Hennessey / Soda Canyon LNU complex fire in Napa, as viewed around noon from the Hydeout in Sonoma.

80-year old Walnut trees harvested for fine furniture:
Walnut tree

A friend and neighbor down the street prepares to take down two huge and dying 80-year old Walnut trees…

Walnut upper

In a few short hours, the crew has the bulk of the tree on the ground. This piece was estimated to weigh in excess of 3 tons.

Walnut trunk

Large pieces of exotic Walnut will easily make in excess of $100,000 of furniture. These particular raw chunks will be slabbed on a huge band saw and dried for 3-5 years at my friend Evan Shively’s mill in Marshall – go to this website and watch this incredible drone video – Evan Shively’s famous wood mill in Marshall, called “Arborica”

 

Offset disc 1

This very heavy 20-disc hydraulic-ram implement is for sale. Reply with best offer, let’s make a deal!

Ken in a Barrel

Some weird naked cowboy in a wine barrel snuck into this blog post. Thank you artist, renaissance man, and good friend Jock McDonald – see his website here – https://www.jockmcdonald.com

(Visited 330 times, 1 visits today)
Share This