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Wine bottles go 'green' for Europe

Citing European preference for “green” packaging, and to satisfy local regulatory prohibitions, Canandaigua Brands, Fairport, NY, has switched wine capsules on bottles it ships to Europe.

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Polyvinyl chloride is out, and the new capsules are made of Eastman Chemical Co.’s (Kingsport, TN) Eastar® PETG™ copolyester.

“Our Euro-pean customer prefers environmentally responsible packaging and is discerning enough to focus on all aspects of the product, including the capsule and the label,” says a spokesperson for Canandaigua.

Both varietals that Canandaigua ships to Europe, Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon and Platinum Chardonnay, have the new capsules. They’re supplied by Chaffee Co. (Hayward, CA) and are produced by Fabricacion Capsulas Especiales, a converter in Spain.

Canandaigua has the capsules produced in a deep burgundy for the cabernet and in antique gold for the chardonnay. The tops can be embossed or printed with custom designs. According to Canandaigua’s spokesperson, “Any printing and/or embossing is done while the material is still flat. It’s then die cut into individual blanks. The sleeve material is then wrapped around a mandrel on an automated system and heat-sealed. The top is punched from a strip of similar material and heat-sealed to the sleeve, resulting in a two-piece product. The capsules are then nested and packed into shipper cartons.”

Capsules are placed on the bottles automatically. They are formed to the bottle in a heat tunnel.

Canandaigua’s spokesperson says the PETG capsule costs about 40% more than PVC. That may explain why there are no current plans to use the PETG capsule in the U.S.

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