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Bottling line provides options for small Adelaide Hills wineries

April 17, 2018 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Boutique wine makers in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia say a new bottling line with the capacity to package beverages for small producers is a boon for the region.

Sidewood Estate has put the finishing touches on it $4 million winery expansion in the South Australian town of Nairne, which includes one of the most technologically advanced bottling lines in the Adelaide Hills region.

The bottling line can fill and label up to 3000 bottles per hour with an annual capacity of more than 5 million bottles. Sidewood says the counter-pressure line is a “first” for the region and will allow third-party contract bottling for other small, medium and large wine, cider and beer brands.

The bottling line features European components that are imported and serviced by local businesses Costa Enterprises and Grape Works. It has been put to work packaging Sidewood products but is yet to commence contract bottling.

Owner of Sidewood Estate, Owen Inglis said local producers often had to send their wine to Port Adelaide, Barossa or McLaren Vale to be bottled, which could be expensive and add complexity to the packaging process.

“Providing regional producers with a quality alternative for local processing will be a highly attractive option for wineries and cider houses looking for commercially viable bottling and canning solutions,” he said.

“The growth and demand for Sidewood Estate wines locally, nationally and internationally has prompted the need for the expansion which both Sidewood and the entire region will benefit from with this new bottling line.”

Inglis founded Sidewood in 2004 and has built the business on the philosophy of controlling every step of the process from its estate grown fruit through to production.

Head winemaker Darryl Catlin said the bottling line was the final step in the vine to glass approach and gave the winery total control over its wines and ciders.

“These facilities will help give Sidewood another edge in quality terms and the benefits of control,” he said.

“We are able to do medium to small batch bottling and on many levels including under pressure and all products in between including cork, 30 and 31.5 mm screwcap and crown seal.”

The Adelaide Hills about 30km east of the South Australian capital, is among 18 wine regions in South Australia, which account for about half of the national production.

Its is fast cementing itself internationally as a leading cool climate region and is also known for its clean green produce such as fruit, vegetables and cheese.

Adelaide Hills Wine Region Executive Officer Kerry Treuel said having a local bottling line was more cost effective for local wineries, created jobs and boosted the Hills’ economy.

“For producers to be able to source, make and package their products all within the Adelaide Hills – well it’s a great thing for the region,” she said.

Adelaide Hills boutique winemaker Sam Scott produces 16 different small batch wines across his La Prova and Scott labels.

Scott said while there were loyalties to existing suppliers to take into account, a dedicated bottling line for small Hills producers was welcome.

“Sidewood are a very positive influence in the Adelaide Hills, they are a strong brand going forward and if they bring some infrastructure that means there’s a dedicated line available for the use of the Hills then that can only be a good thing,” he said.

“We’ve got a significantly high proportion of small boutique producers and there’s a definite logistics benefit of having a bottling line in your backyard so I think they will become quite busy quite quickly.”

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