North Bay Business Journal

Monday, January 21, 2002, 3:00 am

Tapp to open Napa label plant


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    NAPA — Nine years after opening as a printer of pressure-sensitive labels specifically for the wine industry, Tapp sees the need to be closer to its client wineries and packaging designers, according to Matt Schwanebeck, operations manager for the Napa plant and architect of Tapp’s printing plant for the past five years.

    “We won’t have to fly designers and winery representatives to Canada for press checks,” he says. “This facility can do everything we can do in our main plant.”

    Customer convenience is a top priority, according to president and CEO Jay Tapp.

    “We have always had plans to manufacture wine labels in Napa,” he says.

    Tapp has a “couple of hundred” client wineries. Notable local clients and brands include Golden State Vintners, Frog’s Leap, BV, Buena Vista Carneros Estate, Rodney Strong’s Symmetry, and Etude. Tapp has won first-place awards from the World Label Association since 1996, including three in each of the past three years, and has taken home first- and second-place North American awards from the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute.

    Six-color press for Napa

    At its main plant just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Tapp has three 8-inch and four 13-inch web presses and will add a fifth wide press in March.

    In Napa, Tapp has leased 7,650sf at 902 Enterprise Way for sales, digital prepress, and printing staff and equipment. The Napa plant will offer local engineering support for its Impresstik line of applicators and contract machine labeling on packaging normally requiring application by hand. Tapp will consolidate its six-person Windsor sales and demonstration office to Napa and plans to hire five or six production workers for the Napa plant.

    For the Napa print shop, the company is bringing in a new six-color Sanjo PO1 UV waterless offset press with capabilities for inline foil stamping, embossing, and protective coating.

    Winning vintner converts

    Pressure-sensitive wine label printing has been winning vintner converts over the past decade from traditional sheet-fed labels. From some 25 wineries applying pressure-sensitive labels in 1990, as many as 450 of the up to 2,200 wineries in North America now opt for such labels, and that acceptance is increasing by 25% a year, according to Tapp research. The company figures it has about 20% of the pressure-sensitive wine label printing market.

    With $20 million in annual revenues, Tapp will be the largest wine label printer on the North Coast based on revenues, ahead of Novato-based Gordon Graphics with $9.4 million, according to NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL research. Other large wine industry-focused North Bay printers working with pressure-sensitive labels include fp Label, McCoy Packaging, Jonergin Pacific, and Herdell Printing.

    Tapp is the second Canadian wine-only label printer to build a plant on the North Coast, with Jonergin Pacific being the first.

    In Tapp’s Napa lease transaction, Michael Moffett of Coldwell Banker Commercial Brokers of the Valley represented Tapp, and Mr. Moffett and Bret DeMartini of Grubb & Ellis represented Enterprise Park ownership. As for tenant improvements, Napa-based Tower Enterprises is the designer, and Fairfield-based Any Angle Construction is the general contractor.

    For more information, call 888-834-8277 or visit www.tapptech.com.

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