NAPA -- Wine label printer Tapp Technologies Inc. today said it plans to expand its California plant in Napa to a nearby facility this fall to "significantly" increase capacity.

Tapp plans to relocate its printing plant at 504 Enterprise Court to 580 Gateway Drive in November. The current facility will continue to operate during the transition.

"We believe the new facility in Napa will increase our production efficiencies and help us to better serve the ever-changing needs of our valued winery customers," said Carsten Sørensen, chief executive officer.

Production is expected to increase by three to four times as the company relocates from 7,600 square feet, much of it office space, to 10,000 square feet, most of which will be used for production, according to Bill Knopka, senior vice president and head of the Napa plant.

Tapp has been looking to expand its Napa plant for at least two years, but a wide selection of available industrial real estate and packaging demand prompted the move at this point, he said.

"We're seeing optimistic signs in the market and think this is an opportune time," he said, noting inquiries about printing for new labels and reports of increased higher-end wine sales.

A new waterless offset web press able to handle jobs more than 12 inches wide is set to be installed in the new location, and new converting equipment is en route for the two HP Indigo ws4050 digital offset presses already in use in Napa.

The Napa plant already has 8-inch-wide waterless offset web presses, but the wider press will allow the Napa plant to have the same efficiency with large jobs as the company's main plant at its headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to Mr. Knopka.

Tapp hired about 10 new employees to operate the new equipment and will have them trained by the time the new location opens. The company now employs nearly 40 in Napa.

Tapp opened the Napa plant in 2002as the wine industry was shifting rapidly to pressure-sensitive, or sticker-like, labels. A year later, Tapp expanded into local digital offset printing, another emerging wine label trend.

 In the lease deal, Steve Crocker and Bill Kampton of Colliers International in Fairfield represented Tapp and 580 Gateway owners Peter Riechers and Alan Spence, founders of civil engineering firm Riechers Spence & Associates of Napa.