Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) has invested $11 million in a new state-of-the-art bottling facility at its Merbein site in Victoria.
The company says the new operation, officially opened today at a VIP ceremony, is one of the most technologically advanced packaging facilities in the world, significantly increasing AVL’s production capabilities.
For the first time, AVL will be able to bottle both sparkling and still wine at the site for its three key brands – McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe – accelerating its product innovation pipeline and enabling it to bring new wines to market more quickly.
The investment is part of a $19 million capital injection into the company’s operations across its sites, including the installation of one of the largest privately-owned solar plants at an Australian winery at Buronga Hill and extensive new vineyard plantings totalling more than 180 hectares to meet growing demand for its brands.
“The funding reaffirms our company’s commitment to developing our sites, keeping them at the forefront of global excellence and providing a major boost to Australia’s regional economies,” CEO Neil McGuigan says.
The Merbein facility has the capability to package 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.
“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,” Mr McGuigan says.
“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.”