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Summer Shipping: Refrigerated or Next Day Air

Posted: May 11, 2023

We love the sum­mer sun. It ripens our grapes and pro­vides the San­ta Ynez Val­ley with months of warm weath­er. The major down­side is that we have trou­ble ship­ping our wines using nor­mal deliv­ery trucks. Our pol­i­cy is to avoid ship­ping wine if the weath­er is too hot or cold for wine stor­age. The thresh­old for what might dam­age wine is 80°F, and it gets much hot­ter than that in many places we ship to through­out the summer. 

One of the great para­dox­es of wine is that it can age for decades when stored and sealed prop­er­ly, but a mere two-hours in the heat can ruin it for­ev­er. When wine is exposed to warm tem­per­a­tures, it cooks, which per­ma­nent­ly changes the fla­vor. When wine is over­heat­ed, all the expres­sions of vine­yard and vari­ety that a wine­mak­er works to present become flat­tened. All that’s left on the nose and palate of the wine is acid­i­ty and alco­hol. Heat can quick­ly ren­der a qual­i­ty wine into a cheap tast­ing, even undrink­able, wine. 

Cork is also del­i­cate. When exposed to heat, the nat­ur­al cork that we use can dry out, caus­ing the seal of a wine to be com­pro­mised. When this hap­pens, the wine will begin to pre­ma­ture­ly oxi­dize and age years over the course of days. 

We take a patient approach through­out our vine­yard man­age­ment and wine­mak­ing. We believe that good wine can’t be rushed. All our care and work would be destroyed if our wine was rushed into being shipped through an unsafe environment.

In much of the Unit­ed States, it may be too hot for you to get unre­frig­er­at­ed wine ship­ments for sev­er­al months of the year. Even in tem­per­ate Los Olivos, our win­ery sees hot days for much of the sum­mer. The solu­tion is to offer those who want to stay stocked through the sum­mer the option of refrig­er­at­ed ground shipping. 

We have refrig­er­at­ed FedEx trucks sched­uled to come to the win­ery twice a month from May through Sep­tem­ber. These trucks take wine straight from our ware­house to you with­out leav­ing an ambi­ent tem­per­a­ture of 55°F until the morn­ing it is deliv­ered on a pri­or­i­ty truck. Refrig­er­at­ed ship­ping is cost­ly, but we have nego­ti­at­ed dis­count­ed rates that we pass on to our customers. 

To sched­ule tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled ship­ping, just select the FedEx Refrig­er­at­ed (Next Ship­ping Date) option from the Ship­ping Options” drop-down menu at check­out. Plat­inum Mem­bers select Plat. FedEx Refrig­er­at­ed (Next Ship­ping Date).

Please note that cold chain ship­ping takes 7 – 8 days to arrive from the next sched­uled pick up date. If you have a ques­tion about the deliv­ery date, please con­tact us.

For the states where refrig­er­at­ed ship­ping is unavail­able, we offer dis­count­ed UPS Next Day Air rates, with much low­er prices avail­able for Plat­inum mem­bers. Next day air arrives the morn­ing after an order is shipped between 10:30 a.m. and noon to most zip codes. Some address­es will take until the end of day.

Plat­inum mem­bers receive flat rates on both refrig­er­at­ed ship­ping and next day (if refrig­er­at­ed ship­ping is unavail­able in your area). These are fur­ther dis­count­ed from the price that we pay, mak­ing year-round ship­ping quite afford­able. Arguably, the best rea­son to upgrade to Plat­inum is to have afford­able, safe ship­ping dur­ing the hottest time of year.

To sched­ule next day air, just select the UPS Next Day Air — Sum­mer Rates option from the Ship­ping Options” drop-down menu at check­out. Plat­inum Mem­bers select Plat­inum UPS Next Day Air.

There’s some­thing nice about know­ing that a cool bot­tle of Rosé or Sauvi­gnon Blanc is head­ing to your house when it’s oppres­sive­ly hot out­side. If you have any ques­tions please email wineclub@​beckmenvineyards.​com for details on ship­ping wine dur­ing the summer.

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