LAWRENCEBURG — With the twist of a switch, Gov. Steve Beshear and Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz officially started Wild Turkey's new $43 million bottling and packaging line.
The 145,000-square-foot facility will handle all of Wild Turkey's bourbons as well as Campari's SKYY Vodka.
The plant is part of more than $100 million in investments made since the Italian company bought Wild Turkey in 2009. Along with a new distillery and barrel warehouses, Wild Turkey is building a new visitor center that is expected to open next year.
The bottling plant, which has three lines, can fill 300,000 bottles a day, at a combined rate of 633 bottles a minute.
But there is also room for expansion: The sleek and bright building has capacity to add another line, said Rick Robinson, plant manager.
Kunze-Concewitz said that growth was built in deliberately. "Bourbon is on fire," he said. "Wild Turkey is an iconic brand, and it's growing by leaps and bounds. And we're pretty ambitious."
Beshear hailed the expansion, which has already added at least 40 jobs. The state encouraged the investment with $2.35 million in economic and tax incentives. "I'm a Wild Turkey fan," Beshear said. "With all that entails."