Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roll Out the Barrel or Make that Wine Bottle Plastic !

Another year, another vintage. Some wine regions are reporting that harvesting of early ripening grape varieties has begun. So, as in my previous post, is it time perhaps to stop and think about the grape's journey from vineyard to bottle? Yes, the Torres video ends with an ad for their wine, but it is very well done and worth watching.
So now the push for plastic wine bottles is on. The Boisset family of fine wines has been at the forefront of introducing wine drinkers everywhere to this new concept. And for my every day drinking wines, I can live with that.

A couple of years ago wine drinkers in Ontario were introduced to Boisset's Yellow Jersey series of wines by the LCBO of Ontario. The Yellow Jersey of course is the iconic jersey made famous by the Tour de France. Not available to us in British Columbia but through the kindness of Boisset I received samples of these wines. As you can see, I did my bit of recycling and leaving no carbon footprint when I replaced my water bottle with a Yellow Jersey wine bottle.
But I have to question the barrel concept described in the below video. I know Tod Nagle and he is a fine fellow but after the initial charm wears off for the patrons to your restaurant, what are you going to do for an encore? What are you going to tell those who want a Chardonnay, a Riesling, a Cabernet or any other wine? Will you be lining up a whole series of barrels? Green is good and this was good marketing and received some media attention but realistically not a sustainable project.
Are the marketing gurus tripping over each other to see what novel 'green' idea they can come up with to get that extra bit of media coverage? Or is there some exploiting of the green concept?


Patrick Egan said...

Wilf, Thank you for your ongoing coverage of Boisset's innovation for wine! Your points are well-taken - what if someone wants a Chardonnay? Well, indeed, we are working on a barrel that will keep the wine chilled, and are also preparing an ongoing evolution of the wines offered in barrel so as to always keep the idea "fresh", including vineyard-specific Pinot Noirs and other wines from various appellations in California. We are also researching smaller barrels, so that it's easier for a restaurant to have multiple barrels for various wine offerings.

Given the dramatic reduction in packaging that occurs when the barrel is re-filled - 99% less packaging by weight for the eco-bag compared to the typical 12 bottle case (which delivers less wine) - we genuinely believe that ongoing use of the barrel is another incremental improvement to reducing the packaging, the waste and the carbon footprint associated with our favorite beverage. Each step we can take is worthwhile!

Thanks again,

Wilf G.K said...

Well Patrick, that answers that question. I should have known that Boisset wouldn't be sitting on the fence on this one and would actively look at how to expand on the idea. Thanks for your comment and look forward to see what comes next.
Just getting ready to take my bike for a 25 Km spin.