Greencroft Bottling partners with Ardagh on UK wine canning line

Greencroft Bottling Company has partnered with Ardagh Group to launch the UK’s first large-scale wine canning line, with speeds of up to 17,000 cans per hour and offering both still and carbonated filling for wine, soft drinks and RTDs.

Contract wine packer, Greencroft Bottling has invested over £2 million in the state-of-the-art equipment. Working closely with Ardagh Group Metal Beverage Europe, the new can filling line is initially focusing on 200ml and 250ml slimline cans but is also ready to handle Ardagh’s new 187ml Wine Can format. The bottling lines are powered by wind turbines, funded by Greencroft’ parent company, Lanchester Group.

Mark Satchwell, managing director of Greencroft Bottling, said: “We constantly invest in our equipment to guarantee we’re offering the best service possible to our customers and ensure we have the correct technology in place to meet future market demands. The can is a format consumers are already familiar with, through soft drinks, beers and ciders, and right now canned wine consumption is growing at a rate of approximately 6% year on year in Western Europe, so we were pleased to collaborate with Ardagh to set up a dedicated wine canning line and be the first to provide for this growing market.”

Ardagh provided technical support for the line commissioning and set-up, as well as establishing criteria for wine compatibility testing.

“The investment in our new canning line has been substantial, sourcing the best technology available and taking our time to do it right,” said Satchwell. “We’re a family business looking to the future, so it’s imperative we do things once and do them well.”

The resulting canning line at Greencroft Bottling’s facility in County Durham features a KHS Innofill Can C filler with a number of high-tech specifications including 21 valves and a three-head Ferrum Seamer integrated into the frame in a compact monoblock design. Filling volumes are exact thanks to electromagnetic inductive flow metering, while hygiene is at the forefront: flavour-resistant filling valve seals and a hygienically designed filler carousel accessible for cleaning, disinfection & maintenance.

Dirk Schwung, sales director at Ardagh Group Metal Beverage Europe, said: “Our Customer Technical Service team has unrivalled depth of knowledge and experience – it’s an invaluable resource for customers who are looking to expand packaging formats in the way Greencroft Bottling has, or who need any kind of filling line support. We can help customers achieve time and cost savings, and make sure sensitive products are correctly handled and quality-protected, so we’re proud to have worked alongside Greencroft to create the first large-scale wine canning line in the UK.”

Among the first customers to use the new facility is Greencroft Bottling’s sister company, Lanchester Wines. “It’s 100% in line with our strategy,” said Lanchester Wines’ director of sales, Mark Roberts. “We’re a family business that has sustainability at its heart.”

Lanchester Wines’ popular Nika Tiki Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Rosé will be first down the canning line, followed by its Hacienda de Calidad Argentinian Malbec.

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