UKIAH -- The cluster of wine bottle capsule plants is expanding again. G3 Enterprises installed a new polylaminate closure line at its production facility in Ukiah.

The new equipment allows the company to now manufacture polylaminate closures in the North Coast as well as the Central Valley, where G3 is based.

"This is an exciting expansion for our company and customers. It enables us to offer a quality domestic-supply of polylaminate capsules to so many wineries in the immediate area," said Chet Koehn, Ukiah operations manager.  "This expansion, coupled with our experienced team providing onsite technical support, enables us to consistently deliver quality closures for our customers in the North Coast."

G3 opened the Ukiah plant in 2007, around the same time France-based Sparflex opened a capsule plant there. However, Sparflex will relocate production to Benicia upon completion of a capsule facility there, as announced in July by capsule venture partner Rivercap of Spain, according to Karen McCarty, vice president of operations for Rivercap USA.

Last year, Maverick Enterprises, started in 1992 and now owned by Private Capital Management, expanded production at its Ukiah plant by 30 percent to accommodate demand. Tin alloy capsules cost more and are used atop fine wines, but polylaminate and PVC capsules adorn bottles retailing for under $15 a bottle, which has been a hottest-selling segment of the wine business since the U.S. economy started teetering in 2008.

That demand also drove the expansion of G3's Ukiah facility, according to Mr. Koehn.  The plant now offers polylaminate closure choices in a variety of colors and finishes to compliment most bottle shape and size. 

Both G3 capsule facilities are ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified. The Ukiah plant soon will recycle or reuse 95 percent of scrap material, according to Mr. Koehn.

"We have an outstanding reputation for our environmental commitment, which includes establishing strict emission control standards, adopting new printing technologies to reduce the release of VOC’s while improving product quality and equipment efficiency and our commitment to recycle PVC materials previously considered to not be recyclable," he said.

CORRECTION, Sept. 19, 2011: G3 Enterprises is owned by the third generation of the Gallo and Coleman families. E&J Gallo is G3's largest customer, but G3 isn't a division of E&J Gallo.