May 18, 2019
When Cru Systems of Napa, CA began its operations, it was to service the bottling needs of our Winemaking customers. As time went on, several of these winemakers began distilling spirits. Many saw distilling as an opportunity to use their raw materials in alternative products. It also appeared to be an excellent way to broaden their product offerings.
By adding to their product lines, many of these winemakers found that they were also able to boost their revenues. They noted it was much easier for them to set up a distilling process in their working winery as opposed to others who were starting from scratch. Another attraction into the world of distilling spirits is that these products currently face less competition, on a global basis, than the wines produced in the United States.
Many winemakers have noted that they are able to recoup their distilling start-up costs in a shorter amount of time than they would with grape growing and winemaking. The fact that some of the permits work for both operations, coupled with having the facilities and some of the machinery in place, helped to aid in the decision-making process as well.
Winemakers have an array of spirits to choose from when they consider distilling, including Grappa, Brandy, Vodka and Gin, just to name a few. Brandy is often an easy choice since the traditional way to produce Brandy is to distill wine. Although Grappa is also considered a type of brandy, it is actually produced by distilling the pomace, which is essentially the remains after a grape pressing (seeds, stems and peels).
The number of Craft Distilleries continues to increase every year in the United States. As of August of 2018, according to the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), the number of new distilleries on the market was actually eclipsed by amount of sales made. This suggests that current distilleries are actually making more product, in addition to new folks coming into the distilling arena each year.
Due to these marketplace changes, Cru Systems had to be agile and has helped our Winemaking Customers as they made the foray into Distilling Spirits. Although new equipment was purchased for the distilling process, we also had to look at how the Spirits would be bottled. For instance, traditional corking often times would be substituted with a “T-Top” or “Twist Cap” enclosure. Traditional Foiling could also be replaced by Heat Shrink Machines. Also, with bottling spirits, the traditional Burgundian and Bordeaux 750ml Wine Bottles are replaced with an array of odd-shaped bottles, calling for all new labeling machines as well.
Lastly, there were many of our Winemaking customers who merely wanted to get their new creatively produced Spirits on the market, if even in a sample bottle. This meant that we had to work tirelessly with our Partner Network to find the proper machines that would efficiently fill, cap, seal and label the smaller 50ml “airplane size” bottles.
Through it all, Cru Systems is proud to continue serving our clients’ bottling needs, whether they are putting a Cabernet Sauvignon into a 750ml Bordeaux Bottle or an Eau De Vie in a 375ml Square Shape Bottle. We’re here to make sure the product is bottled properly in its vessel before making it to our glass!
April 5, 2019
Cru Systems, which started out manufacturing Gravity Fill Bottling Machines in Napa, has now expanded to include a complete modular offering to its customers. "We realized that our clients were frustrated doing all of the research and configuration themselves", said Steve McGarvey, President of Cru Systems. "We wanted to offer them a full modular line, utilizing our years of research experience in the industry, so they could concentrate on doing what they do best, make wine". Cru Systems has continued to add to its line of modular products, allowing customers to create the exact semi-automatic bottling line that works for them.
Today, you can work with Cru Systems to purchase not only a semi-automatic, gravity fill bottler, but also add components that complete your specific bottling system. These modular items can be purchased separately to augment a current line or as an all-inclusive modular solution that is configured from scratch. Items currently offered include Spargers/Rinsers, Fillers, Corkers and Cappers, Labelers as well as several other sundry items in the bottling process.
Cru Systems not only builds quality items in Napa, but is also very selective in partnering with superior manufacturers across the world that meet their standards and come with the highest in customer ratings. "We've done the painstaking research in the field for our clients", added Steve. "Therefore, our folks can feel good knowing that they are getting the highest quality machines at the best prices for their small to medium size bottling runs".
March 1, 2019
Cru Systems is excited to have just finalized a partnership with an incredible company in Northern Italy. Now, in addition to our custom US made fillers, we will be distributing for this amazing company that has been in the wine industry for nearly 100 years. This collaboration allows us to expand on our product line so that we can now provide full bottling solutions for our customers! Looking very forward to working with this 4th generation family-owned business – Ciao for now!