It’s desert-like, but not quite a desert – and it’s definitely not an island. And these messages are less paper, more wine. Actually, they’re full of wine and the bottles ship in cases instead of floating in the water. Maybe the whole message-in-a-bottle theme is a stretch, but it’s a catchy title so I’m sticking with it.

One of the cool things that happens in the BC wine industry is mobile bottling. I’ve witnessed two different mobile bottling companies truck up, set up, and do their thing – and I’m still in awe of it.

A few weeks ago, winemaker and general manager Severine Pinte-Kosaka of Le Vieux Pin asked me to capture their bottling process as part narrative, part photo-essay. I met Severine a few months after she moved to the Okanagan with her family, from France. Yes – France. And she wants to make wine here. (I think that says something about the area)

We’ve got  awesome people in the BC wine world, and Sev’s one of them. I fell in love with her as soon as we met; I even wrote about her for Wineries Refined (page 60). When you meet Sev you’ll fall for her, too.

Here’s a glimpse of the day I spent with Sev and the team at Le Vieux Pin as they bottled 2012 Viala Rosé and 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.

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Le Vieux Pin bottling

Severine measures the first bottle off the truck. (tasty ’12 sauv blanc)

Le Vieux Pin bottling

Not a drop is wasted. (I offered to take care of that…)

Le Vieux Pin bottling

The difference between mobile bottling in France and what we do in Canada: in France, the truck comes with labour to do the work – in Canada, the winery provides the workers.

Le Vieux Pin bottling

A compact and very efficient use of space.

Le Vieux Pin bottling

Stelvin or cork, the bottling truck can handle many closures – and bottle sizes.

Le Vieux Pin bottling 34

Finessing label levels while Severine watches.

Le Vieux Pin bottling

Always smiling, even under threat of rain.

Le Vieux Pin bottling

This is how smaller wineries do it: outdoors, in any weather.

Le Vieux Pin bottling

My inner gear head rejoices at such a display of equipment.

Le Vieux Pin bottling

Pretty, in pink.


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