Thursday, December 4, 2008

Problem Solving Bottling Issues

In a perfect world, all necessary pieces to the puzzle would fall in line as we approach bottling. That is not reality when you produce wine. All wineries face one issue or another during bottling and they seem to arise when we think we have all bases covered. We use a mobile bottling line so we don't face all the mechanical issue that reek havoc on wineries with there own bottling line. That can be a nightmare but on the positive side, they have more flexibility with timing for bottling.

We ran into our November issue with the labels. Yikes to say the least. Bottom line is that we bottled shiners. Now for those of you that are not aware, we are in the process of improving our look. This bottling would have had the new look for labels and capsules. Well, labels were not ready to go but our wine and bottling was. What is a girl to do?! We bottled 3400 cases of shiners! The wine is great but unfortunately our bottling is not done. This means scheduling a mobile truck to label the shiners at our warehouse in January. Not only is it staff that we have to send off site but it adds significant cost to our bottling expenses.

My problem is reallocating funds from another area into our packaging budget. Adjustment will need to be made in spending for the winery. It's not just a simple solution of increasing prices to offset the additional costs. Our prices have been set based on numerous factors (grapes, barrels, labor contracted packaging costs etc)-not costs of mistakes. Not happening here at Dutcher Crossing. Not the correct thing to do with our wine club family or loyal customers. Our customers understand increases in price based on normal increase COGs but we'll tighten our belts in other areas to get through our additional expense.

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