Economists and pundits are telegraphing the news that wine sales are contracting. In the wine industry’s ever-changing landscape, the ability to adapt to new developments is the path to success. “We’ve been diversifying our offerings to support our clients’ continually changing portfolios,” says Jessica Tuteur, President and General Manager of Infinity Bottling in American Canyon. “We’ve reduced our minimum quantities to meet the current market requirements, and we’re open to discussing projects of all sizes.”
Infinity Bottling was established in 2018 bringing new equipment and innovation to the wine industry. Many of Infinity’s winery clients are switching to lighter bottles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manage the rising cost of glass. Others are switching to bulk glass instead of case goods, providing the winery with more flexibility to customize smaller runs and reducing transportation and handling costs. That’s why Infinity worked with APS Packaging to make sure that the Italian bottling line installed six years ago could fill lightweight glass as well as PET bottles and included a bulk glass de-palletizer and carton erector. Infinity’s 200,000-gallon cooperage has tank sizes of 3200 gallons, 6500 gallons and 13,000 gallons to accommodate a range of run sizes.
“We provide traditional case ware for standard industry packaging,” Tuteur explains, “but our bulk glass solution lets us bottle into brand new cases and pack directly into trays for Costco, Walmart or Sam’s Club. That way, the cases can go straight to the retailer without a second stop to cut the boxes or pop off the perforated tops. That’s a couple of dollars in savings for each case, and it presents the wine to the consumer in a clean, new box. This provides sustainability benefits with less packaging waste and a superior finished product.”
Infinity Bottling is fully automated for format changes, accommodating 375ml, 750ml and 1.5L bottles, as well as closures from cork to traditional screwcaps and WAK® capsules. Infinity is exploring Bag-in-Box filling, as their team is experienced with handling this type of alternative to glass bottles.
The philosophy of adapting to meet clients’ needs has defined Infinity Bottling’s success. Tuteur explains that, as a co-packer, “We don’t have our own brands or rep anybody else’s brands.” Instead, the team — which she sees as “our most important asset” — focuses its attention on customer needs, quality standards and cost control for their clients.
“Jessica and the Infinity team have been great to work with over the past 5+ years. From logistics, packaging, to bottling, their services are top notch. We always know our wines are in good hands with Infinity!” – Sheri Bisso Vice President, Supply Chain Planning, The Duckhorn Portfolio
Tuteur tells prospective customers, “We’re going to be your number one! You’re our most important person. What do you need from us? Because that’s all we care about.”
Dennis Stroud, a partner at Vintage Supply Partners, LLC, agrees, “Infinity Bottling is a key piece of our operations. They have invested in technology and people above and beyond their competition. Their expertise in managing a very difficult process (bottling) results in extremely high-quality results, and their ability to communicate makes working with their team very efficient. I can say without hesitation that Infinity Bottling is the best in the business.”
Another critical asset in Infinity Bottling’s success is the state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology it relies on for bottling two million cases each year. The bottling line runs up to 180 bottles a minute, and its proprietary intelligent conveyor system moderates speed to reduce bottle contact, preserving label integrity. This feature allows silk-screen bottles to run smoothly without bottle-to-bottle contact.
Infinity takes quality control to a higher level with AI-based inspection equipment that uses cameras to check fill height and cork or capsule presence, as well as perform a full-label inspection. Clients tell Tuteur they appreciate Infinity Bottling’s get-it-done attitude and buttoned-up work. “We are accountable,” she says. “If there’s a problem, we’ll make it right.”
Infinity is FSSC 22000 certified for food safety requirements and is currently awaiting their organic certification from CCOF.