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BOTTLING EXPANSION SERVES SMALL BUSINESSES

07-05-2018
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Sidewood Estate head wine maker Darryl Catlin (left) and owner Owen Inglis at the new Adelaide Hills bottling line.

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.

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. This new expansion provides a welcome alternative. 

“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.

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 31.5mm screwcap and crown seal.”

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

“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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