Ask Wine Wizard

Transporting Wine


Bill LoPresti — Fountain Hills, Arizona asks,

I recently moved from Ohio to Arizona and need to move my homemade wine. I have bottles in cases and 40+ gallons (150+ L) in 5-gallon (19-L) carboys. It will need temperature controlled shipping. I found a couple of transporters that specialize in wine transporting but are more for high end collections and are very expensive. As a home winemaker without a license, what options are out there?

When moving wine, the main thing to be concerned about is temperature change and since you’ve got carboys, spillage! For the first factor, any kind of moving truck where the back payload is not air-conditioned is an absolute no-go. Interior cargo temperatures can really swing wildly, especially depending on the time of year you move, and you want to make sure you are in complete control of the environment your wine gets shipped through. For this reason, using your buddy’s pickup truck is also a no-no. Though you don’t mention the size of your cased wine collection, why not something like a U-Haul cargo van rental? The entire unit is enclosed and therefore the climate can be controlled. The vans are white which will provide extra help in controlling your temperature. Often times the floor is customizable and bench seats can be removed and inserted according to your needs. To address the possibility of spilling your carboys — make sure that you are not transporting actively fermenting juice or must. Any kind of motion, exacerbated by a rise in temperature,
Response by Alison Crowe.