The climate crisis poses a significant threat to the wine industry. In the face of an uncertain future, producers are taking radical steps including planting new grape varieties and pursuing higher altitude vineyards. But the wine industry is not just on the defensive—it’s also innovating to make the world of wine more sustainable. Learn about how VIVANT is leading the revolution here.
One area where there’s been considerable progress is wine bottle packaging. The production and shipping of glass bottles accounts for 51 percent to as much as 68 percent of wine’s carbon footprint, leading many producers and brands—VIVANT included—to explore sustainable packaging alternatives.
From an environmental standpoint, the problem of how wine travels (not how far) is what makes the biggest difference. Road transport is less effective than shipping in bulk by rail or sea. When packing a shipping container, bottles with narrow necks and larger bodies are a waste of space; the glass takes up weight that, if it were wine, would drive down the cost per fluid ounce.
One avenue is to use large pouches or kegs that allow for bulk shipping so that wine bottles can be filled at their destination. In cases where the keg is brought directly to a restaurant, nitrogen is used to push the wine from the keg, and inert gas replaces wine as it flows through the tap, allowing the remaining liquid to remain fresher than it would in a re-corked bottle.
While plastic has been demonized for its negative effects on the environment, recycled PET bottles are making waves in the industry due to their green credentials. Weighing about 87% lighter than glass, the material—a lightweight plastic belonging to the polyester family— is completely free of BPA and 100% food-safe. Bottles have a long and flat shape and can be tightly packed without the need for additional padding, making room for up to 90% more wine in the shipping crate. While this method may not be as suitable for wines that require aging, it works well for those that need 21 months shelf life or less.
Cellulose fiber-based bottles use even less plastic and are shaped to appeal to the more traditionally-minded consumer. Recycled paperboard is fused with water-based glue, molded with heat and moisture to resemble a Bordeaux-style bottle. The resulting product weighs less than a fifth of the average bottle but is super durable, resisting breakage from up to a five-foot drop. The downside? Wines stored in these bottles have a quick 12-month shelf life.
VIVANT has also joined the beverage packaging revolution, and is proud to have found the perfect technology to sustainably repackage biodynamic wines. Our recyclable, durable glass Tasting Kits are lightweight and perfectly preserve the complete bouquet, flavor profile, and mouthfeel of a wine. Trust us, you won’t taste the difference!
Sustainable packaging is only piece of the larger fight for more transparency, accountability, and responsibility in the world of wine. Here at VIVANT, we believe that a more sustainable future starts in the vineyard with organic and biodynamic farming practices. Read more here.
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