Wine Giants to Share Bottling Insights

W&V Pack speakers to discuss sanitation, alternative packaging and key performance indicators

by Kate Lavin
wine packaging conference bottling
Bottling is one of the topics being covered at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17.
Yountville, Calif.—Producing nearly 70 million cases of wine each year between them, The Wine Group and Trinchero Family Estates take up two of the the top four spots on Wines Vines Analytics’ list of the top U.S. wine companies. On Aug. 17, bottling and production specialists from these California wine producers will share some of the challenges and solutions involved with getting millions of gallons of wine out of barrels and tanks and into the hands of consumers.

During a session at the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference, Scott Childers, production manager for Trinchero Family Estates, will discuss the packaging execution strategy for the 17 million-case wine producer. In addition to outlining key performance indicators and objectives, Childers plans to discuss the company’s new $300 million winemaking facility in Lodi, Calif.

“In our opinion, it’s the most technically advanced packaging distribution facility in the United States,” Childers told Wines & Vines. And while the 600,000-square-foot operation varies markedly from many of the small, estate wineries near the conference site in Napa Valley, the company’s dedication to efficiencies and best practices can be applied to wine processing and bottling operations at facilities of any size.

“I’m going to end with some tips, some challenges that we’ve encountered and how we’ve overcome them,” he added.

For Sarah Andrews, continual improvement manager at The Wine Group and a speaker at the conference, some of the challenges include packaging wine in cans, kegs, bag-in-box (BiB) and single-serve containers—not to mention traditional (and lightweight) glass bottles under a variety of stoppers and screwcaps.

“You can put expensive red wine in a BiB, but it’s not going to age the way it would in a glass bottle with a cork,” she told Wines & Vines. “Just from an equipment standpoint, BiB doesn’t run as clean as a regular glass line.”

Andrews will discuss which packaging choices are best suited for which wine types, factoring in shelf life and price point for The Wine Group’s wide range of brands. (The 52 million-case company owns high-end brands such as Benziger Family Winery and Concannon Vineyard as well as popular value brands such as Cupcake, FlipFlop and Big House.)

Andrews’ presentation will focus on sanitation challenges that accompany the various bottling (or bagging or canning) lines run by The Wine Group and how the winery controls what foreign materials (such as glass and pallets) enter the winery, thereby keeping unwelcome pests and possible contaminants out.

Other sessions at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference will include an account of Michael David’s Success With Packaging, as told by winery marketing executives Melissa Phillips Stroud and Mike Stroh, and Star Retailers on Packages That Sell, featuring high-end wine sellers Debbie Zachareas and Gary Fisch. Attendees also will have the chance to vote for their favorite entries in the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards

More than 40 packaging suppliers and designers are exhibiting at the Aug. 17 conference, which will take place at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville, Calif. To read the full schedule and register for the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference, visit wvpack.com

Posted on 08.14.2016 - 16:52:10 PST
I am really looking forward to this session, but I cannot see it, and would hate to think that it was not going to happen, since I am coming all the way from New Zealand for one day for this conference.
Please can you confirm that it is happening and when?
Tim Nowell-Usticke