Wineworks is a third-party bottling facility offering bottling infrastructure for New Zealand wineries. They have plants in Marlborough, Auckland and Hawkes Bay. Wineworks takes care of the bottling, storage and packaging using world-class technology and facilities. The bottling line and packaging system is mostly automated.
How the bottling process works
During our visit to Wineworks we first sat down and were shown a presentation where we learnt all about what is involved in the process of working at a bottling facility.
Raw Materials: Bottles
Wineworks will provide the winery with the packaging needed for the bottling process.
There are many different kinds of bottles that a winery can choose from, usually the type of bottle will depend on the variety that is being bottled. For example, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are typically bottled in a ‘Burgundy’ bottle. (see image)
The shade of the bottle is also chosen by the winery. In New Zealand the ‘antique green’ shade is most popular. Other shades include ‘flint’, and ‘champagne green’.
Wine bottles also come in an assortment of sizes. In New Zealand this will typically range from 375mL (demi) – 1.5L (magnum)
Raw Materials: Closures
The closures are also chosen by the winery. This is typically a screw-cap, but Wineworks can also supply the winery with corks, or LUX caps. Less commonly used are zorks or vinolok closures
Wineworks uses tankers and isometric tanks to collect the wine from the winery. For nearby wineries they also have lines build in underground so the wine can be sent directly to wine-works. Once it arrives at Wineworks it undergoes laboratory analysis and this analysis is sent to the appropriate wine-making and logistics team- when ‘green-tagged’ the bottling process begins.
After this presentation we had a tour of the bottling facility, where we all marvelled at the high-tech bottling facilities… just another day at the office for those who work there.
Wineworks has 9 bottling lines (between all plants). The bottling process is mostly automated, with advanced technology and facilities. (see image)
Prior to bottling the wine passes through a 0.45 micron membrane filter ensuring no bacteria or micro-organisms will pass through into the bottled wine. In order for the wine to pass through these membrane wine must be pre-filtered, either using cross-flow or other filtration methods. The wine must have a Filterability Index (F.I) of less than 1.2. If the wine does not pass the F.I the winery will have to pay a fee, or the wine will be sent back to the winery to be re-filtered.
The specified bottles will be de-palitized, rinsed and dried. The bottles are filled and the specified closures will be fastened onto the wine bottles. The outside of the bottle is then washed and dried ready for the labelling process. Once labelled the bottles will be packed into cases with dividers, palletized, stickered, and packed into storage.
Wineworks (n.d.) Wine bottling and packaging Wineworks. Powerpoint [Slides]. NMIT Moodle.
Jackson, G. (n.d.). Types of Bottles for Wine – Bottle Shapes, Bottle Sizes and Other Options. The Beverage People. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.thebeveragepeople.com/how-to/wine/types-of-bottles-for-wine.html