[caption id="attachment_88874" align="alignnone" width="500"] Bergin Glass Impressions President Mike Bergin with the nine-color Fermac automated bottle screen-printer that was installed in mid-January 2014. (courtesy of Bergin Glass Impressions)[/caption]
As more producers of higher-end and even superpremium-priced wine turn to screen-printed labels on bottles as a way to distinguish themselves on ever-crowded store shelves, local printing companies have been spending several million dollars upgrading equipment to handle a surge in orders.
[caption id="attachment_88816" align="alignright" width="270"] Bergin Glass Impressions President Mike Bergin with the nine-color Fermac automated bottle screen-printer that was installed in mid-January. (image credit: Bergin Glass Impressions)[/caption]
Also a factor in the capital investments are significant increases in wine set for release from back-to-back record-sized winegrape crops, according to the printers.
New equipment being installed by Napa-based bottle silk-screener and etcher Bergin Glass Impressions (707-224-0111, berginglass.com) and Richmond-based Monvera Glass Decor (877-792-1150, monvera.com), which screen-prints labels on bottles for a number of North Coast wineries, has faster throughput and color capabilities, more automation and greater ability to cover the bottle in art.
Theses new systems allow bottle label designs to seamlessly venture further out of the physical confines of glue-applied or pressure-sensitive labels. Such new territory, even for screen-printing, includes over the "shoulder" of the bottle -- where the wider part tapers to the neck -- up the neck itself and on the bottom, according to Paul Tincknell, a principal in wine packaging design firm Tincknell & Tincknell of Santa Rosa.
"It's always been a challenge, because of the curves," he said. "Wine bottles are surprisingly nonuniform."Bergin invests $2.5M
Bergin Glass Impressions invested $2.5 million in creating large-run and small-run printing lines in the past three years to handle a surge in business from existing customers as well as 30 to 40 new ones added annually, according to Mike Bergin, president.