Accolade Wines: This is what manufacturing excellence looks like

Posted on 2 May 2019 by Maddy White

Accolade Wines is the number one wine company in Australia and the UK by volume, and the fifth largest in the world. See our recent tour in pictures that showcases their excellence.

“We do not think we are perfect, we are always striving to raise the bar”, says Richard Lloyd, general manager for European operations and supply chain at Accolade Wines, as he introduces the business to the room full of manufacturers eager to learn how to improve their firm from the best.

Our interactive visit of the production facility hosted by key members of the Accolade leadership team took place yesterday (1 May), and it was certainly not something to miss.

On the factory floor wine bottles are filled, packaged and continuously quality checked:

In November, Accolade Wines won the coveted Manufacturer of the Year Award, as well as the Sustainable Manufacturing and Achieving Customer Value categories at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2018.

Richard Lloyd explains the benefits of being voted Manufacturer of the Year at the launch event of this year’s Digital Manufacturing Week, at the House of Lords (18 February 2019).

“If you were to come to Accolade Park, you would see a smile on the faces of everyone following the big win – the pride behind that smile is huge. When you look at the scale of the awards The Manufacturer runs and the competition we faced, we are honoured as a business to take the top award.

“We were quite literally a muddy field 10 years ago. Therefore, to take that muddy field to being a facility at the centre of our supply chain that is recognised as the best of the best in the UK is something that just gives us a huge amount of satisfaction,” Lloyd previously said on winning.

On the tour of the Avonmouth site, bottles of Mud House wine are constantly filled at pace using automated machinery, and the placing of labels on bottles are checked with lasers:

Thousands of bottles of wine are packaged every day, with the plant operating 24-hours a day seamlessly:

Accolade Wines’ manufacturing facility in the UK, Accolade Park, is a multi-award-winning bottling facility which employs over 500 people and produces 25 million 9L case equivalents of wine each year.

Accolade Park is the only dedicated wine bottling facility in Britain, with the ability to package every format, from 187ml to 75cl in glass bottles and 1.5Ltr to 10Ltr casks.

The company has 51 brands that are sold in over 140 countries, headline brands include Echo Falls, Hardy’s and Kumala:

Accolade Park Production - image courtesy of Accolade Wines.

The wine is rigorously tested for any microbial activity onsite in the lab, before and after bottling to maintain high liquid quality:

The facility sits at an impressive 82,000 sqm and is Europe’s largest wine warehouse and distribution centre, here you can see automation and the impressive operation on the main factory floor:

Although automation and new technologies are second nature at the site, the workforce remains the key driver of success.

“We have an unbelievable leadership team, one that we are very proud of. It has a 50/50 gender split, and we think its diversity enables us to continuously improve and solve the problems we face,” Lloyd said.

On the day of the tour, 50 million bottles of wine in the warehouse were packed onto pallets ready to be exported across the globe: