Wine company Australian Vintage has invested A$11m ($7.8m) in a new bottling facility at its Merbein site in Victoria to significantly increase its production capabilities.
The bottling facility is capable of packaging still and sparkling wine at rates of 11,000 and 7,000 bottles per hour respectively, making it one of the fastest wine bottling lines in Australia.
With the new addition, Australian Vintage is now capable of bottling both sparkling and still wine at the site for its three key brands McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe. The company has described the new facility as one of the most technologically advanced packaging facilities across the world.
The move accelerates the company’s product innovation pipeline and enables it to meet the growing demand by bringing new wines to market more quickly.
The project is part of a A$19m ($13.5m) investment to improve the operations across all its sites including the installation of privately-owned solar plants at its winery at Buronga Hill and new vineyard plantings totaling more than 180 hectares to meet growing demand for its brands.
The company says that the funding reaffirms its commitment to develop its sites, keeping them at the forefront of global excellence and providing a major boost to Australia’s regional economies.
In November 2018, the company has signed a renewable energy deal, rendering it the first wine producer in Australia to run 90% of its operations on solar and wind power.
Australian Vintage chief executive officer, Neil McGuigan, said: “The opening of our new Merbein packaging facility is a landmark moment for Australian Vintage and represents a step-change in our capabilities as Australia’s fifth largest wine company. The $11 million investment we have made means we now have one of the most technologically advanced packaging sites in the world.
We embarked on a meticulous two-year search for the best possible machinery available, which took us right across the globe. As a result, I am confident this investment will take our already outstanding quality reputation to the next level. It will also allow us to create new and exciting products for both domestic and global markets.”