Barossa Bottling Services is a certified organic wine bottling and packaging facility located in Nuriootpa, in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Servicing artisan clients from some of the major wine regions throughout South Australia, Barossa Bottling Services provides a complete wine packaging solution. This includes both certified organic and conventional wines.
After a rise in customer requests to bottle organic wines, the facility gained organic certification through ACO Certification Ltd and USDA Organic. Obtaining certification provides their organic clients with the confidence that their products will be handled in a way that adheres to their own certification needs. This includes the cleaning of all tanks, pipes and bottling machines with solutions that are allowed within organic standards. After cleaning, equipment is thoroughly washed with water before certified organic products enter the system.
To maintain their own organic certification, Barossa Bottling Services must adhere to strict standards with annual audits and work continuously to uphold these standards.
Certified organic wines are processed at the beginning of the day before other products through sterilised filtration. This prevents cross-contamination from bacteria, yeast and other elements which is vital in maintaining organic certification and prevents certified organic and natural wines from spoilage. Many organic and natural wines contain minimal amounts of preservatives and other synthetic chemicals and can therefore be more easily spoiled by contamination than their conventional counterparts. Non-certified organic wines are also processed separately to certified organic to enable certified organic clients to maintain their certification.
Many of Barossa Bottling Services’ certified organic clients are processed at Mopper Vintners, located next door, before making their way into the facility. Mopper Vintners has a straight transfer line into the Barossa Bottling Services, meaning that wine can be transferred straight into the tanks ready for bottling. Hayes Family Wines, whose certified organic vineyard is located just a stone’s throw away, send their wines to Barossa Bottling Services for bottling and packing, minimising the wine’s initial carbon footprint.
The facility enables bottling with a range of bottle types, shapes and sizes, from smaller bottles to magnums, processing just under 3,000 bottles a day at current capacity. Magnums can reach as much as 6 litres, and the facility can provide bottles if the winemakers are unable to source their own.
To seal the bottles, the facility offers cork or screw caps. Wax tops are also offered as a bespoke, niche service – a specialised service not provided by many other bottlers. The facility notes that Chinese and European markets prefer cork bottles, however Australian and New Zealand consumers prefer the screw cap for its reliability and ability to reduce oxidisation and tainting of the wine.
The bottling process begins with the rinsing and de-aerating of the bottles. The bottles are filled with nitrogen rather than oxygen to prevent oxidisation. The gas also helps the wine to fill up and out of the bottle. After filling with wine, the bottles are then levelled and weighed to check they are all the same weight. Before screw caps are fitted, CO2 is pushed into the top of the bottles to ensure no air gets in before the caps are screwed close. The bottles are then cleaned, dried and warmed to room temperature to prevent condensation and help labels adhere to the bottle. The wines are then boxed and placed onto a pallet for delivery. The whole process, from empty bottle to pallet, is incredibly quick, enabling them to bottle up to 40,000 litres in one batch – that’s a lot of wine!
Every hour, a bottle is pulled from the production line to check levels of dissolved oxygen, CO2, sulphur, and wine temperatures. Bottle samples are then checked at random at the end of the whole process to ensure the wine is filled to the correct level and the seals are correctly fitted.
Barossa Bottling Services recently added in a new line to allow them to process sparkling wine, with potential opportunities in future to process non-alcoholic beverages also. With regular harvests and yearly vintages, the facility is non-stop almost all year round.
To find out more about Barossa Bottling Services, visit their website: barossabottling.com.au