Languedoc wine producer and merchant, Les Domaines Bonfils, is investing EUR4m in a new bottling and packaging plant in response to a capacity shortage and to facilitate its export drive.

Comprising two bottling lines and a 'bag in box' packaging line, the new plant will have an annual capacity of 23m bottles on entering service in September 2009.

This year Bonfils' production output is expected to reach 16m bottles, with a projected turnover of EUR30m-EUR32m, compared to EUR27m in 2007.      

"This year, our export volumes will have increased by 37%, with Holland, Belgium, the UK, Canada and Japan among our leading destinations," Bonfils' managing director, Xavier-Luc Linglin, told just-drinks today (17 December). 

However, he said the latter part of the year had brought a slowdown in the market and with it downward pressures on prices which Bonfils was doing its best to resist.  

"It's currently the period when wine contracts are being re-negotiated for 2009 and the level of some of the prices under discussion is ridiculously low."