French wine group Castel is investing almost EUR8m (US$10.9m) at its main bottling plant in Beziers, south-west France.

"The development of Languedoc-Roussillon wines is a priority for Castel and expanding our operations in Beziers reflects this," a Castel spokesperson told just-drinks today (24 August). "On technical and stock management fronts we will better-placed to respond to customer requirements in this segment." 

The company has spent EUR3m on a second Bag-in-Box (BIB) bottling line with a capacity of 5m units joining the existing one of 4m units. Earlier this summer, Castel acquired France's BIB market leader, Friedrich.

Castel has also invested EUR1.9m in increasing wine-making capacity at the Beziers site, which has an annual output of around 133m bottles of which more than half are varietal wines marketed under the Roche Mazet and Ormes de Cambras brands.

A further EUR3m is earmarked for the construction of a waste treatment unit at the plant while the investment programme also makes provision for a 5,000 sq.m warehouse for finished goods adding to existing storage facilities covering 12,000 sq.m.