The months leading up to the North Coast wine grape harvest is a busy time for bottling, as vintners seek to clear out winery tanks and prepare for the next vintage.
With the 2018 harvest fast approaching, Infinity Bottling opened its sizable plant in southern Napa Valley at an opportune time, according to Jessica Tuteur, president and co-owner.
“Companies need to bottle during harvest, and custom-crush facilities often reduce their staffing on the bottling lines to move them into the cellar,” she said. “We are uniquely positioned to operate year-round.”
The facility is located in 35,000 square feet of leased space at 677 Hanna Drive, Suite B, in American Canyon. Already, 40 percent of the plant’s capacity is booked, according to Tuteur. The other partner in the business is David Davenport, plant manager.
The Italian-made bottling and materials-handling equipment at Infinity Bottling was designed by American Canyon-based Maspack Packaging USA to handle more than 150 bottles per minute. Job size can range from 2,500 cases to over 1 million.
The facility has automation for unpacking bottles delivered by pallet and in the traditional fashion, packed in cardboard cases. Tuteur said the savings of bulk glass handling could be 60 cents to $1.
The bottling line can automatically change format — size — of containers, ranching from 375-milliliter half-bottles up to 1.5-liter magnums.
Types of bottle closures handled by the lines include cork-style stoppers with or without capsules, conventional ribbed aluminum screw caps, ribless caps by Gualala Closures Group and long-skirted Stelvin caps by Amcor.
The facility employs seven. A next phase will be installation of more tanks for storage of wine in bulk.
Tuteur’s background is about a decade as operations and logistics manager for Napa-based Plata Wine Partners, which operates four custom wineries in California.
A grand opening is set for Aug. 1, 2:30–6 p.m. Tours are by appointment.