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Mobile Wine Bottling Trailer a First for Midwest Wine Industry

What do you do when you have a small and successful winecompany that sees an opportunity to improve and enhance the rapidly growing Midwest wine industry?You purchase a custom mobile wine bottling trailer and offer mobile bottlingservices to other wineries throughout the region.

That's exactly what Sam Simpson, owner of Harbor Hill FruitFarms in Lake Leelanau, Mich., did. He secured a 37-foot ATCgooseneck trailer from Advantage Trailer and filled it with approximately 25pieces of equipment to create a mobile wine bottling trailer.

“It’s very common practice on the west coast,” Simpson said.“We own a couple of production facilities, so it just made logical sense thatwe didn’t need to own multiple bottling lines. We just needed to be able tomove between facilities.”

Harbor Hill Fruit Farms operates several differentbusinesses including Good Harbor Vineyards and Aurora Cellars, both of whichare also in Lake Leelanau. According to Simpson, the state of Michigancurrently has about 150 wineries, Ohio has 240, and Indiana has 100, so thereis incredible opportunity to add a service to the region that has so far onlyexisted out west.

Mobile Wine Bottling Trailer

“It’s one of those things where you need to have a certainsize of industry to justify the service, so as the industries grow the morelikely that the service can be successful,” Simpson explained. “We’re trying tobe the first.”

The wine bottling trailer officially opened for business atthe beginning of April and can bottle up to 1,800 cases per day. Harbor Hill’sown products account for approximately 10 percent of that capacity, soSimpson’s team offers the service to other wineries around the Midwest, whichhelps justify the cost.

With all of the bottling, labeling, and packaging equipmentcontained within the trailer, wineries can save time, money, and space versussetting up all of that equipment at their own facility.

“The bottles are put on the trailer empty, they’re picked upand filled with nitrogen, the bottle is displaced with wine,” Simpson explainedabout how the process works. “There is either a cork or a screw cap closureplaced on the bottle. The bottles are labeled, they’re date coded, then they goaround and they’re put in a case by a person. The case is printed with whateverthey want on it and automatically taped, then goes down a conveyor system andstacked on a pallet.”

Mobile Wine Bottling Trailer

Simpson’s goal is to expand to additional mobile winebottling trailers within three years – this one has the potential to captureapproximately five to eight percent of the Midwest market – but acknowledgesthat it will take time to spread the word about the service.

“Everybody that has used us said that they can’t ever seenot using us, which is a good start,” Simpson said. “We’re in the mode rightnow of getting the word out that we’re offering this service.”

In today’s economy, being able to do something with mobilitythat can improve efficiency, lower costs, and help an entire industry is amajor advantage, and that’s what a trailer can offer. The uses for trailers areendless, from mobileretail to a restaurantand sampling to a ministryplatform to a tradeshowcenterpiece and everything in between.

How can Advantage Trailer help bring your idea to life orincrease your business? We stand behind our motto of We Build Dreams because wetake pride in crafting mobile solutions for any personal or business need. Giveus a call at 630-529-2029 for a quote today.

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