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Constellation Brands invests in US Tetra Pak wine promise for Vendange

By Ben Bouckley+

26-Sep-2013

Constellation Brands has installed a new Tetra Pak bottling line for its Vendange wine brand as part of a wider $20m winery investment and says it is doing so to support growth for this key brand as well as Black Box and Rex Goliath.

The world’s largest premium winemaker first used 500ml cartons for the brand in 2004 (current lines are pictured) and was the first US first to package wine domestically in Tetra Pak containers.

Vendange has a 70% share of the US wine market within Tetra Pak cartons and has grown double-digit every year over the past seven.

Advantages of the Tetra Pak for consumers include convenience (resealability, transportability), freshness and environmental friendliness (90% waste versus traditional wine bottles, and 97% recyclability), according to the brand.

‘Strong growth in the category’

Greg Fowler, SVP of Operations, Constellation Brands, said: “We continue to see strong growth in this category and installing a new Tetra Pak line puts the company in a great position to support the growth of not only Vendange, but Black Box and Rex Goliath, which are now being offered in 500ml Tetra Paks.”

Constellation is investing in the Tetra Pak line as part of a larger $20m spend on its California wineries and vineyards to expand growing, crushing, fermenting, storing and bottling capacities.

Most of the projects are due to be finished by the end of 2013.

Wright said the need for more land, fermenters, tanks and bottling lines was directly due to the success of Constellation’s growth brands – including Rex Goliath, Black Box, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois and Mark West Wines.

“Increasing capacity from grape to glass and investing in state-of-the-art technology is a wise investment that is not only good for Constellation Brands, but good for the local economies where we live and work,” Fowler said.

Upgrades to other wineries

Further to the Tetra Pak investment, Constellation’s Mission Bell Winery in Madera County is adding a Bag-in-Box bottling line to raise capacity by 50% to meet growing demand for Black Box wine.

Woodbridge Winery in San Joaquin County plans to convert one bottling line to accommodate growth of the 187ml PET bottle category for Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.

Constellation is also buying and leasing 750+ acres of additional land to be developed in the Lodi Delta area of San Joaquin County where it will plant cooler-climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The company is also investing to expand its grape crushing tanks at its Gonzales winery in Monterey Country to raise its central Coast crushing capacity from 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes.

7,000 tonnes of crushing capacity and 1.5m gallons of storage capacity will also be added at Turner Road Vintners winery in San Joaquin County, while Constellation will install 1m+ gallons of storage by mid 2014 at its Clos du Bois winery in Sonoma County.

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