Compostable wrap makes debut

Australian start-up, Great Wrap, today launches its certified compostable and biodegradable stretch wrap made from plant-based products, a world-first solution to one of the biggest industrial waste challenges.

With plastic stretch wrap encasing almost every pallet sent from business to business around the world – it is estimated the number of pallets sent each year is now in the billions – Great Wrap’s goal is to remove one million tonnes of plastic from the environment within a year.

Great Wrap founder and CEO, Jordy Kay, was working in the wine industry for over a decade when he noticed how much stretch wrap was being used without a plastic-free solution. His experience found that a single winery could use up to 3.5mn metres of plastic wrap every year.

“There’s a culture of concern around single-use plastics that is growing every day with the rise of reusable coffee cups, lunch boxes and even diapers. However, I think consumers would be shocked at how much plastic wrap businesses are using and is ending up in landfill,” said Kay.

Following a successful test to market with a trial biodegradable stretch wrap in late 2019, Kay has self-funded the research and creation of the latest iteration of Great Wrap, a 100 per cent compostable alternative that leaves no trace of residue or microplastics and breaks down in 180 days once it enters a compost pile.

Following the initial test to market, winery, Bobar Wine, trialled Great Wrap. “We hate the amount of waste that can be caused by making wine, so to find an environmentally friendly solution that works just as well as the original made the switch an easy decision,” said the company’s winemaker Tom Belford.

“With each box of Great Wrap a business will save 1.2 kilometres of plastic entering landfill, making the change to Great Wrap is a no brainer for any business looking to make a positive impact,” said Kay.

Great Wrap has been awarded an industrial composability certification from internationally recognised German certified DIN CERTCO. Great Wrap is committed to making an environmental difference and will be partnering with Plastic Bank to remove plastic from coastal ecosystems. For every box of Great Wrap sold, 761 plastic bottles, or 15kg, will be removed.

Ahrens helps shape Barossa Valley’s newest winery

The Barossa’s newest winery, RedHeads Wine, embodies plenty of character, complete with a shiraz vineyard, cottages that date back to 1888 and brand new winemaking facilities that are full of potential.

Ahrens played a key role in helping the new winery take shape, with the design and construct of a new winemaking and barrel storage facility.

Ahrens specialise in winery buildings and infrastructure, warehousing and logistics, commercial buildings and engineering and winery maintenance.

RedHeads Wine is the Barossa Valley’s latest wine venture however, their principles of winemaking trace back to the “olden days” – tiny batches and hands-on, the way wine used to be done.

With this in mind, the client trusted Ahrens to offer the care and attention needed to deliver this project.

The main purpose-built structure spans 1,850m2 to provide ample space for the winery’s tanks and barrels where they sort, crush, ferment and age all their wines on site.

A secondary smaller 160m2 shed was also erected on-site.

Ahrens scope of works included all site clearance, earth works, footings, steel erection, cladding, concrete floors, and electrical, fire and plumbing works.

With a long history of delivering quality projects and services to the wine sector, Ahrens’ extensive portfolio of past work includes everything from buildings, production and supporting infrastructure.

Ahrens are experienced in working with larger operations and boutique businesses throughout Australia, using their significant pool of in-house labour, trades, plant and equipment.

While RedHeads had already made a name for themselves as quality South Australian winemakers, including their previous studio winery at McLaren Vale, this was their first full-fledged winery and vineyard.

The purpose-built facilities by Ahrens will allow the winemakers to give the fruit the special treatment it deserves so it can go on to form wines of true individuality and character that are signature to RedHeads Wine.

Ahrens’ specialist wine capabilities include:

  • Barrel stores and storage facilities.
  • Civil and storm water works.
  • Finished goods stores.
  • General site services and facilities.
  • Offices, tasting rooms and amenities.
  • Support infrastructure, catwalks and canopies.
  • Storage facilities.
  • Tanks and fermenters.
  • Temperature controlled buildings.
  • Barrel wash-down areas.

Learn more about Ahrens’ proven history of meeting tight deadlines while closely managing costs and safety, quality and environmental factors for wine construction and infrastructure, visit

The right brew for beverage and distillery flooring

The craft beer and distillery market in Australia is worth in excess of $4 billion and growing. Although currently dominated by North American brands, more exciting new craft brewers and distilleries are setting up rapidly throughout the country, with up to 600 brands now being available.

The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) estimates that there will be double-digit growth of 24.2 per cent for local craft beer through the liquor stores over the next 12 months, proving Australia has a growing appetite for quality beer and spirits. Wealthy investors and bankers also view the market as a key opportunity with the likes of Gerry Harvey recently investing $20 million to build Australia’s largest whisky company.

Similar to the building and construction of a winery, breweries and distilleries have parallel challenges in getting the floor coating just right.

The brewing process is subject to constant wear and tear and spills. This is driven by steam and boiling water creating a large swing in temperatures that the flooring needs to withstand. Following on from the production process, forklifts and pallet jacks are used to transport ingredients and finished brews to delivery trucks. This constant traffic movement can cause the floor to crack and peel and result in dangerous trip hazards, as well as a build-up in bacteria. A seamless heavy-duty, non-slip epoxy floor from a company like Roxset Health and Safety Flooring will protect from accidents and inhibit growth of bacteria and provide ease of cleaning.

READ MORE: Flooring meets strict food code requirements

Another key consideration with the final coating is erosion. Sugar solutions used in wine making and brewing rapidly erode concrete, which can leave the surface pitted and damaged resulting in expensive downtime and repairs. It also creates a hazardous working environment for workers.

Breweries, distilleries and wineries have a lot of rules and regulations they are required to follow, not just in terms of how they run overall, but their set-up, too.

Important requirements they must meet include:
• A brewery floor needs to be made of non-porous material, with no cracks and gaps.
• Flooring must have anti-microbial properties to prevent collection of bacteria and other harmful organisms and meet HACCP Compliance.
• Floor coating must be moisture and chemical resistant and not degrade quickly due to repeated exposure.
• Floor coating must work well in both wet and dry conditions.
• Floor coating should be non-slip and have low environmental impact.

The SE Floor Coating Solution from Roxset is a specialised tailored system to suit high impact wet areas for the food and beverage industry. Key clients over the past 30 years include, Ned’s Whisky, Capital Brewing, Vasse Felix Winery and Voyager Estate.

For consumers, breweries and distilleries are a cool place to hang out and see how the beverage is made and to sample offerings. But what they do not realise is the level of detail, which goes into every choice made. From the brewing of equipment to the flooring, everything needs careful consideration.

Roxset has the expertise and history to make sure all hygienic and safety concerns are met in distilleries, wineries and breweries. It works with clients so it can find a solution that will mean the floor surface meets strict Australian standards and makes for a safe and healthy workplace for employees.

Riverland wine centre project begins to take shape

Australia’s largest wine region is a step closer to getting a dedicated wine and food centre to showcase its produce and drive tourism.

The Riverland is responsible for more than a quarter of Australia’s annual wine grape production. It is also a globally significant producer of citrus, stone fruits and almonds.

However, compared to other regions, the number of growers and volume of production has not yet translated into winery and cellar door equivalents. For example, fellow South Australian wine region the Barossa Valley has 738 grape growers compared with the Riverland’s 980 but it is home to 219 wineries and 88 cellar doors compared with just 55 wineries and 12 cellar doors in the Riverland.

The South Australian Government has pledged an initial $200,000 to develop a business case and detailed plans for a dedicated wine and food centre in the Riverland to help address the imbalance.

It released a discussion paper on the proposed centre last week and has given the local community and industry until the end of February to provide submissions.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone, said community input would help shape the vision for the Wine and Food Centre.

“The Riverland is a vital food bowl for South Australia and this is a great opportunity to capitalise on the region’s growing reputation for producing premium beverages and food,” he said.

“Being able to showcase the region’s strengths in a dedicated centre would be a big drawcard for tourists to the region and provide greater economic support.”

The Riverland is about 240km northeast of the South Australian capital Adelaide and includes the River Murray towns of Berri, Renmark, Loxton, Barmera and Waikerie.

It is yet to be decided in which town the wine centre would be located or if it would be in a purpose built or refurbished facility.

The discussion paper says potential functions of the centre include providing an outlet for local wineries that do not have a cellar door, giving visitors an opportunity to experience a “taste of the Riverland” and showcasing the region’s premium wine, food, beer, spirits and cider.

However, it also says the centre should provide non-exclusive access and be commercially sustainable in the absence of ongoing government support.

“The discussion paper is quite broad as it is important the community provides extensive feedback which will ultimately drive the concept of the centre,” Minister Whetstone, who is also the Member for the Riverland seat of Chaffey, said.

According to Wine Australia, 447,410 tonnes of wine grapes were crushed in the Riverland in the 2018 vintage, almost 30 per cent of the Australian harvest of 1.52 million tonnes. Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the main varieties grown

As well as being Australia’s largest growing region, the Riverland has been a pioneer of viticulture irrigation technology. Riverland Wine last year also partnered with the University of Adelaide, Wine Australia and the South Australian Government to create a Digital Vineyard Guidance System – a platform to filter data collected from a suite of remote sensors to improve vineyard efficiency.

“The Riverland has some wonderful success stories in the food and beverage industries and I envisage this centre will provide an opportunity to celebrate not only these stories, but the region as a whole,” Minister Whetstone said.

“This is an opportunity to continue to drive market growth and consumer awareness by enhancing the profile and reputation of the Riverland.

“I encourage all interested stakeholders, including wine, food and tourism businesses, industry associations, local government and community representatives and interested members of the public to get involved and provide feedback.”

South Australia is responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual wine production and 75 per cent of the nation’s premium wine. It is also the home of world-renowned brands such as Penfolds, Hardys, Wolf Blass and Jacob’s Creek.

Yarra Valley company Seville Estate win winery of the year award

Seville Estate has been named Winery of the Year at the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion Awards.

Wine expert James Halliday presented the award at a ceremony in Melbourne, in early August.

Each year Halliday and a tasting panel determine the best from a pool of several thousand featured in the annual Halliday wine companion guide.

In addition to the Winery of the Year award, Seville Estate’s 2017 release includes 10 wines awarded with 95 points or more including its signature shiraz, pinot noir and chardonnay ranges.

READ: Victoria’s wine industry gets a $2 million boost from the government

Chief winemaker and general manager Dylan McMahon said he was honoured to accept the award.

“Seville Estate has been consistently producing great wines ever since my grandfather Peter McMahon first planted the vineyard. I feel the success is attributed to a combination of factors, location, vine material and a good understanding of the vineyard that can be translated into the winemaking,” he said.

“My grandmother Margaret chose this site for its sheer beauty and it was Pete’s drive and determination to make great cool climate wines from it. Our team work hard to ensure this vision continues,” said McMahon.

The Seville Estate 2017 wine release was produced from 26 acres of estate vineyard and will be released on allocation from the 5th of October 2018.

An hour’s drive from Melbourne, Seville Estate is located in the foothills of Mount Dandenong at the start of the Yarra River.

The winery has a recently refurbished cellar door, onsite accommodation and a weekend restaurant providing lunch and dinner.

Wine of the Year was awarded to 2017 Duke’s Vineyard Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling, produced in Great Southern WA.

Winemaker of the Year went to Julian Langworthy of Deep Woods Estate in Margaret River, WA.

The Best Value Winery of the Year award went to Provenance Wines in Geelong, Victoria.

Best New Winery was awarded to Mewstone Wines, Tasmania.

Dark Horse Winery of the Year was awarded to Principia, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

Photo: from left, Andrew Peggie, Jarrod Johnson, Dylan McMahon from Seville Estate.