MV GROUP Production, one of the largest beverage producers in the Baltic States, has modernised its Anykščių Vynas winery by installing a new still wine production line that cost over half a million euros. The company invested EUR 614,000 into installation of the modern production line and equipment for its maintenance.
The installation of the new production line culminated a factory modernisation phase that lasted three years. MV GROUP Production invested a total of EUR 2.5 million in the factory upgrade, of which EUR 1 million was invested in the past year.
MV GROUP Production acquired the Anykščių Vynas winery in late 2014. According to Algirdas Čiburys, the company’s CEO, revitalising the winery, which has been maintaining the traditions of Lithuanian winemaking for almost a hundred years and was the pioneer of fruit wine production in Lithuania and the Baltic States, was an important challenge.
“The modernisation of the factory and the introduction of a new line is more to us than just an investment in increasing the capacity of Anykščių Vynas. It is the preservation of a factory with more than 90 years of tradition and its employees, and the adaptation of production to meet modern consumer needs, while also being an opportunity to bring innovations to the market. As far as we know, the still wine bottling equipment installed at Anykščių Vynas is the most modern in the region. It can’t be found in any of our neighbouring countries, and even in Italy or France, which are famous for their winemaking traditions, only a handful of manufacturers can boast of similar equipment. In a sense, its installation was the cherry on the cake that we completed a three-year modernisation phase with and started a new phase, focusing on product range development, export markets, and attracting new partners,” said Mr Čiburys.
The company’s CEO estimates that with the introduction of the new, versatile production line, the factory’s productivity will increase by a tenth. In addition, the new line can be used not only for fruit or berry wine, but for grape wine as well, making it possible to offer a wider range. According to Mr Čiburys, modernisation has allowed the factory to rise to a new level of quality and to enter new areas of activity, such as the production of grape wines and non-alcoholic beverages. These innovations will help to strengthen the factory’s potential and attract foreign producers to Lithuania by offering them the opportunity to significantly shorten the beverage’s route from bottling to shelf placement, and providing a fresh, quality product to consumers.
The new fully automated production line will perform the functions of rinsing, bottling and corking. Additional washing and micro filtration mechanisms were installed with it. When installing the modern new line, the factory premises were revamped as well, with the beverage bottling department being renovated and expanded.
According to Roberto Azzolini, commercial manager at Gruppo Bertolaso, the Italian company that produced the equipment, a number of innovative solutions were used in the equipment.
“In addition to the fact that this line is highly versatile, allowing for beverages to be bottled in different sized bottles, and for both conventional corks and screw caps to be used, it also features an innovative micro filtration system. Micro filtration is what helps ensure that the wine or other beverage retains its quality and flavour in the bottle. The line also ensures that oxygen does not get into the beverages during the production process. This is particularly important in winemaking, because oxidation changes the colour and flavour of the wine, thus compromising quality,” said Mr Azzolini.
Meanwhile, MV GROUP Production CEO Algirdas Čiburys emphasised that the company is not only investing in modernisation of the factory – it is also consistently expanding the range of beverages produced in Anykščiai. Given the rapidly growing popularity of non-alcoholic beverages, Anykščių Vynas recently introduced two new products: natural, non-alcoholic Voruta blackcurrant wine and non-alcoholic Tinginio Pantis apple cider. In addition to these non-alcoholic beverages, the factory’s product range has been expanded by Blossom, a new line of Voruta wines that currently consists of two products.
“We are a Lithuanian manufacturer and the thing that makes us the happiest is that we are finally able to compete on equal footing with global players and provide consumers with what they are looking for – high-quality, natural, interesting products. The fact that we are doing well is shown by examples. When our Christmas wine, Voruta Winterspice, came out during the winter holidays, Voruta sales in Lithuania led the entire wine category. What used to seem inconceivable has become a reality. That makes us optimistic,” said Mr Čiburys.
The Stumbras, Alita and Gubernija factories also belong to MV GROUP Production. Of all four factories owned by the company, Anykščių Vynas plans to release the largest number of new products this year.