The cap elevator on our bottling line has failed and while we work to fix it, we are delaying bottling, hopefully for just a week or so. This machine takes the screw caps from floor level and blows them up about 7 feet to the vibratory bowl feeder at the top of the bottling line. It normally works automatically, sensing when the feeder needs more caps and then blowing up just the right amount. We can’t totally fill the bowl: it just requires a certain amount. We think the programmable logic controller has blown its mind, but we’re still trouble-shooting to make sure. The machine was made in Italy in about 2008 and is no longer distributed by the company that sold it to us. Fixing it is going to be a challenge.

So, we’ll take advantage of the time to get the last batches of Red, White, & Blue® for this year finished, blended, and cold stabilized. We are also getting the new Iowa In the Dark and the 2019 Iowa Marquette ready for bottling. And we are working on getting our 2019 Iowa St. Pepin and our 2019 Iowa Louise Swenson ready for bottling. Finally, we have a batch of our very popular Blackberry Wine that we are just now fermenting.