Ron has been so busily bottling vinegar that he broke the corker. Our vinegars are all made in small batches and we haven’t gone the route of using a huge mechanized process for bottling. Each cork is inserted into a bottle by the use of a corker that holds the bottle and positions the cork correctly. Then it’s Ron’s muscles and the leverage of a handle that squeezes the cork into the bottle. He’s just bottled strawberry, cherry, and Serrano pepper.
Strawberry was one of our first vinegars back eight years ago. It’s nice to have a good supply again. Cherry is always in demand. Serrano pepper, while not our hottest vinegar, is a zippy one and a good seller.
This afternoon, I handled the waxing duties on seven (twenty-four bottle) cases. While it might be good for a wine to breathe through a natural cork, air can stimulate continuing mother formation in the bottles. It’s perfectly harmless, even desirable as a sign of natural vinegar. That's fine but we'd rather not have too much develop between the time we bottle and someone uses it. A layer of beeswax fully seals the bottles, deterring any additional “mothering.” Each bottle is hand dipped in melted beeswax. It’s a pleasant job with the sweet honey scent of the beeswax and the satisfaction that comes with producing our distinctive Leatherwood Vinegars.
I’ve updated our products page with a current inventory of flavors. For those of you waiting for raspberry: Ron checked the acidity this morning. It’s up to 4.7% so we’ll give it a couple more weeks to reach full potency.