Sep 13, 2015

Who cares about packaging? ProWine!

Who cares about packaging? Most don't, but some do. Those that do, do so for a variety of reasons. For some its as simple as the attractive label and for others its about closures. Most of us never even consider the shipping boxes or the choice of how many cases high you stack a pallet.

Look, if you are a small or relatively small producer just getting wine into bottles can be a big deal. The mobile bottling trucks are good but may not be your best bet. What about labels and caps and box's and then storage, short or a little longer term. The hassle of some of the regulatory process or what if you want some 187ml bottles or a 27 liter large format done or both? Who would you turn to?

One section of the massive warehouse.

If you are in Adelaide South Australia or near vicinity it might just be Prowine.

Recently, while on a visit to South Australia, an offer to tour this state of the art bottling, packaging and shipping facility was on offer. The idea was intriguing. So off to Pro Wine it was.

Prowine is a contract wine bottler established in 2004, and they have been servicing the wine industry ever since.

There is that slip sheet!
They provide pretty much a one stop shop for wine makers, from wine unloading, pre-post wine analysis, bottle, label, cap to carton, etc.

Since they are sharing their site with Nuriootpa traders, they have an advantage where they can do onsite container loading for customers as well. One of their advantages compared to other South Australian bottlers is their QA staff. They have very strict QA standards and staff checking the products on line periodically. All results are documented and the lot code on the bottle allows traceability just in case there is any problem in the future.

Pallets of four high and three high

They also take small orders, and like to encourage boutique wineries in the wine industry. Their passion and professionalism has allowed Prowine to grow and they have acquired lots of loyal customers, e.g. Rockford Wines, Elderton, Hentley Farm, Pikes, etc. due to the consistent customer satisfaction.
Air bags to keep stuff from moving

They also have a number of tricks that are quite amazing. The advent of the slip sheet that reduces shipping costs by eliminating the pallet and stacking the cases some 4 high and some three high each shipping container is loaded to the max.

Walking around in the massive warehouse is an amazing adventure as you see pallets moving all over and bottling lines cranking and even a custom packaging project underway.
 The diversity of projects undertaken here is quite amazing. One of the most amazing accomplishments is the ability to keep the waste in the bottling process to about one percent. The industry average is two to four percent. Take a relatively small - medium sized producer having 10,000 cases bottled. In theory that's 90,000 liters of wine, but waste 2% by over filling and you are now 1,800 liters short or  200 cases. If its a $30 a bottle wine you just lost $72,000.00 in sales.

Entering the lab

The Lab

ProWine will give professional advice when it comes to bottling and packaging. They will organize standard corks, closures and bottles but will also use customer supplied items. The primary focus is to make sure the product is in its best form after bottling and all transportation and freight process have occured.
For example, due to the increase in China exports they are trying to educate people through Chinese social media about the importance of good bottling and packaging and how it would make such a difference, i.e, Corks may not be the best closure for wine especially when the wine is travelling across the equator. This would apply to the USA market as well. They would like to get the message out there and the reason is they hope that people will get a chance to taste the best of South Australian Wines in the condition that the winemaker wants you to.

Happy Wine Adventures,

One of the bottling lines

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