Sustainably sourced English winery supported by Direct Air’s solution

By Direct Air & Pipework
schedule21st Aug 22

Itasca Wines is a full contract winemaking facility based in Hampshire and established rather recently in 2020. The English winery provides sustainably driven Grape to Bottle service for it's customers all across the UK. This climate change conscious company start their mindfulness right from the first process of sourcing sustainably grown grapes.

Itasca Wines uses compressed air for powering multiple applications across the facility including their bottling line, labouring, packaging and even grape pressing. One of the most key processes generated by the compressed air at Itasca Wines is disgorging, an essential step which removes the sediment from a sparkling wine after fermentation.


Itasca Wines built their site from two old barns to a fully operational winery during the summer of 2020, meaning they also required a brand new compressed air set up. They required a system that could reach throughout the entire 1000 square meters of Itasca Wines facility to operate the various applications. This included 6 separate air lines navigating to each of the different machines, so that they could be used at the required point during production.


After having Direct Air recommended to him by another company in the winemaking industry, Ben Smith Head Winemaker at Itasca Wines, contacted us with the project. Direct Air’s Area Sales Manager, Tim McGill, has supplied many units to the wine industry, so used his experience to assess Itasca Wines’ requirements and chose a fitting compressor for the customer. Although Itasca Wines knew they needed a specific sized, low maintenance compressor, Direct Air were able to inform and recommend further air treatment equipment to ensure all needs were met. Consisting of condensate management and air filtration, to satisfy legal requirements and ensure the compressed air powering the production was clean and dry.

Following our recommendations, a Champion FM11 Air Station with filter set and associated equipment was supplied and installed by Direct Air. Not only does this machine have the capabilities that Itasca Wines specified in their enquiry, it also complies with health and safety by having reasonably low noise levels at just 70 dB, which is vital as the winery’s employees occasionally work in close proximity to the system.

This wasn’t the only time Itasca Wines were able to put Tim’s expertise to use as following the purchase of the compressor, Itasca Wines needed a new addition to their production system. This consisted of an extra winemaking machine which wasn’t specified during the enquiry for the Champion FM11 Air Station meaning that Ben was unsure if the compressor had the ability to powering even more equipment. Determined to find an answer to the customers question, Tim got in touch directly with the German manufacturer of the machine to be 100% of the air demand this new equipment required.

Itasca Wines were delighted to find out that their compressor did in fact have the capacity to power the extra machine. They’ve been in fully functioning production ever since, turning out a massive half a million bottles per year!

Ben Smith, Head Winemaker at Itasca Wines commented:

The entire Direct Air team have been great from the engineer who installed the system, Phil Wallace, to Tim McGill answering any question I had and going above and beyond to get answers for us. We haven’t had any issues with the system since installation and are very happy with Direct Air’s service.”

Tim McGill, Area Sales Manager at Direct Air commented:

“I was happy to support Itasca Wines on this job. Ben was very helpful throughout the communication of this work, providing any information and photos required during pandemic restrictions. Food and beverage is a huge industry that Direct Air take pride in offering solutions for, so we’re certain that any future compressed air projects Itasca Wines require, we can provide.”

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