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Feb 20, 2012 11:49 AM by Angela Douglas - Q2 News

Angela's Adventures: Wine Bottling

BILLINGS - Yellowstone Cellars & Winery is local to Billings in almost every way.

"I'm from here, I live here, we make wine here," states Yellowstone Cellars & Winery owner Clint Peck.

Peck feels right at home at his winery, but this hasn't always been a way of life for this Billings native.

"I was in a situation with my day job about two years ago, I needed something to do for the rest of my career and decided that I wanted to make wine," the owner explains.

That decision brings us to current day. On a Tuesday night in January, Yellowstone Cellars & Winery was bustling with activity as Peck and a bunch of volunteers were busy bottling the latest batch of wine.

"We're bottling Tempranillo wine," explains volunteer Mike Birtles. "We've loaded two barrels into the tank and we'll produce probably about 70 cases of wine."

Tempranillo is a medium-heavy bodied red wine, native to Spain.

"These grapes come from the Yakima Valley of Washington," explains Peck. "So we bring the grapes fresh on the stem over here. We crush, ferment, age in the cellar, and now we're bottling."

With a room full of volunteers it makes the big job seem a little less like work.

"The camaraderie of the people, meeting new people, and just seeing the whole process flow through," says Birtles.

Fellow volunteer Sheila Poklempa agrees.

"It just doesn't matter what you're doing, it's always fun to come out here and be a part of it," Poklempa explains.

The first step is the bottling station, where the wine is poured from the tank into the bottles.

Then the bottle gets passed down the line to get corked, capped, labeled, and boxed.

Once the wine is bottled and packaged let it age to your preference, Clint recommends two years. Once your satisfied with how long the 2009 wine has been bottled, pour yourself a glass, have a sip and enjoy some local, delicious wine.

It may not be an over the top adventure, but bottling wine at Yellowstone Cellars is an option if you're looking to get out of the house on a Tuesday evening.

For more information on Yellowstone Cellars & Winery, click here.

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