After learning how to make wine and how to enjoy it from a proper glass, the Graham’s Lodge team spent yesterday afternoon learning about one of the most important steps in between: the bottling process and quality control.
After lunch the group travelled just up the hill and around the corner to São Marco, where we have our bottling plant. Francisco Santiago, who is the senior manager of quality control, showed the group around.
The team were absolutely fascinated by the bottling process, and impressed by the attention to detail every step of the way. Francisco and the group also visited the laboratories where we perform rigourous quality control testing on corks and bottles, and continued their tour into the one of the most critical areas: the stock control room for labels.
Your first thought may be, how difficult is it to afix a label to a bottle? That part is relatively easy – it’s all the planning and logistics to get the right label to the right place at the right time in sufficient quantity for a given bottling run. For one thing, we have 4,000 different possible labels for all the SFE produced wines. Graham’s wines alone are distributed to 50 different markets, each of which seems to have unique regulations about what can and cannot be printed on a bottle of wine, and of course there are all those languages. But as you can see, Sr. Lacerda, who is responsible for the labelling inventory, is very relaxed and cheerful.