Bristol-based The Park becomes Europe’s largest wine packaging company in 1st year of independence

Park 2 bottling line

A Bristol bottling and warehousing facility says that in just one year it has become Europe’s largest wine packaging company, currently packaging one million bottles and 150,000 bags of wine daily.

The Park  based at Avonmouth, was formerly used to bottle and store solely the wines from Accolade Wines, but last year it expanded to become a contract packer for any business in the drinks industry with the capacity to bottle a further 10 million cases of wine, with the flexibility for even more during peak periods.

Experts in multi-format packaging, bulk wine shipping and blending wine, The Park packs many of the top 20 wine brands in the UK. The wine specialist boasts a certified carbon neutral site fully equipped with recipe creation labs and beverage blending facilities with a world-leading oxygen control of 0.1ppm from tank to bottle and a wine loss of just 0.5 per cent.

The Park wine packaging companyDespite the pandemic, The Park has increased its headcount and recruited 50 more staff members. It is also in the midst of a £750,000 investment to double stack 20ft containers, meaning 250 containers of wine can be stored onsite to provide a larger buffer against global shipping volatility and provide ultimate scheduling flexibility. This will add to its existing 75 million bottle capacity storage to hold a further 8 million bottles – this means that The Park will soon be able to store enough wine to fill nearly 25 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

According to reports, the facility is leased by Accolade Wine’s parent company, private equity business The Carlyle Group, which bought Accolade in 2018.

Richard Lloyd, General Manager, European Operations and Supply Chain at The Park said: “We are incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the last year and the journey we’ve been through to get here. We are now working with many of the UK’s leading supermarkets as well as many of the most popular brands, such as Jam Shed, IHeart and 19 Crimes.

“With over 10 years of experience, expertise and a deep-rooted heritage in winemaking, The Park is a leading partner for the wine industry and offers a complete solution for the packaging, distribution and storage of wine. Some of our greatest achievements to date include producing Kylie Minogue’s sell-out wine range and winning Kantar Product of the Year for our Echo Falls Blueberry/Hibiscus Hard Seltzer, as well as introducing formats, designs and distribution models unique to each customer at The Park, from our five-sided BIB (Bag-in-Box) and screen-printed bottles to our 100 per cent post consumer recycled flat bottle.

“We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time but are continuously learning, reacting and adapting to bring our customers the latest and most innovative business solutions and are excited to see what this next year holds for us.”

The Park works with the Carbon Trust to minimise its environmental impact from grape to bottle.

The business has committed to cutting plastic usage in half by 2025 and is striving to be the first wine packaging and distribution company to send a shipping pallet with no plastic stretch wrap. It is also set to send out the first electric HGV to transport its wine to retailers and is also working to package fully recycled glass bottles which would save approximately 186,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions.

The Park offers customers everything from product development, manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, distribution and support services.

The Carlyle Group bought Accolade Wines, one of the world’s largest wine companies, in 2018. Headquartered in Australia, Accolade Wines owns a portfolio of more than 50 brands with 1,550 employees globally. The company has a presence in 20 of Australia’s premium wine regions across Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Its range of labels includes the UK’s number one Australian brand Hardys, and award-winning premium wines Grant Burge, St Hallett, Petaluma and Arras.

Carlyle is one of the most active international private equity investors in Australia. In addition to investing in Accolade Wines, Carlyle acquired iNova Pharmaceuticals in September last year, and completed the sale of its stake in Coates Hire to Seven Group one month later. As of March 31, 2018, Carlyle has invested more than US$2 billion of equity in 10 transactions in Australia. Carlyle established its presence in Asia in 1998 and now has nine offices in the region.