Mobile bottler is the toast of B.C. wineries
on 31/05/11 at 9:09 amWine
On an overcast Sunday afternoon, Norm Cole rolls up the driveway of Laughing Stock Vineyards pulling a 32-foot trailer that wouldn’t look out of place hauling cattle on a ranch in Alberta.
With the skill of a big-rig trucker, Cole inches the oversized unit along a narrow driveway cut into the hillside above Okanagan Lake, until the rear bumper nudges the entrance of Laughing Stock’s warehouse.
He greets winery owner David Enns with a handshake and throws open the back of the trailer, revealing a self-contained bottling line capable of churning out 1,200 cases of wine a day.
“This is our smaller unit. It just came back from a week on Vancouver Island,” says Mr. Cole, owner of Artus Bottling, a Naramata, B.C.-based company that provides on-site bottling services to wineries around the province.
“The 42-footer was at Dirty Laundry (Vineyard) in Summerland yesterday and now it’s on its way to Forbidden Fruit (Winery) in Cawston.”
Artus, founded in 2005, was the first company in Canada to offer an independent, door-to-door wine bottling service, and it remains the only one with more than one mobile unit in operation.