Spanish wine producer Felix Solis Avantis has launched a 40m euro ($44.7m) expansion plan, which it says will place it amongst the top three largest wineries in the world.

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Felix Solis Avantis vineyards. Image credit: Felix Solis Avantis

The investment largely covers the introduction of technologies, automation and additional air-conditioned production and storage capacity at its plant in Valdepenas, to facilitate the making of new sparkling wines.

Felix Solis Ramos, international director of Felix Solis Avantis, told Decanter.com that the first new brands of sparkling wine – to be called Provetto and Penasol – will made from Viura and Airen grape varieties, using the Charmat or tank method.

Mr Solis Ramos hopes that sparkling wine will make up close to half of the increase in the production of wine resulting from the new investment. He said the company’s annual production will jump 50% from 200m litres to 300m litres, some 400 million bottles a year, by the end of 2016.

‘We have already started to produce sparkling wines and other products to meet consumer demand for low-alcohol, fruitier wines with bubbles – distinct from traditional wines,’ said Mr Solis Ramos. ‘We hope to make 24m bottles of sparkling wine each year,’ he added.

Known for its red Vina Albali, the family of Felix Solis Avantis started making wine in 1952, and the company now exports production to 110 countries. This month, Felix Solis Avantis launched Frissé, a low-alcohol, sparkling Sangria.

It will also be launching new red, rosé and white still wines. The company said its profits would fund the investment plan that includes a 4m euros ($4.4m) revamp of its wine bottling and production facility in Shanghai.

Written by Barnaby Eales