UKIAH -- Maverick Enterprises acquired production lines for making decorative plastic capsules for wine and spirits bottles to allow production to expand by about 30 percent amid strong demand from wineries.

Though some higher-end wines have been switching to lower-cost plastic capsules, most use tin foil capsules for the luxury feel. Until a resurgence in sales of wines retailing for more than $20 in retail stores in recent months, wines priced at less than $20 a bottle have been among the fastest growing segments in U.S. retail venues in the past two years.

Maverick forms and prints PVC, polylaminate and sparkling wine capsules that are fit over bottle closures during bottling. The target market is wines ranging in retail price from $4 to the low-$20 range. PVC dominates the lower end of the range, and polylam, the top end. Wineries make up 94 percent of Maverick's business.

"Wineries have been leaning on suppliers to supply product," said Jon Henderson, executive vice president of business development. "It's been challenging for us."

Maverick is set to reach production of 1 billion capsules this year and was facing capacity issues as business increased 18 percent from last year, which had a few percentage points of growth from 2007, he said.

To meet that growth, Maverick acquired all three capsule machines from All Industry Packaging Solutions Pty. Ltd., a large Australian maker of plastic capsules for the local wine market.

The equipment, en route now and set to be operational in mid-November, gives Maverick 17 production lines and allows for forming and printing more than 300 million additional capsules annually, Mr. Henderson said.

A few additional employees will be added to the existing staff of more than 100 at the 36,000-square-foot Ukiah facility to accommodate the additional capacity.

Maverick started in 1992 when California started banning lead in wine bottle capsules. In 2005, New York-based private-equity firm The Riverside Company acquired Maverick. Riverside has 71 companies in its global portfolio and $3.4 billion in managed assets.

All Industry Packaging Solutions, started in 2006, filed notice on July 21 that it was closing down, according to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

For more information, call Maverick 707-463-5591 or visit www.maverickcaps.com.