My earlier post  New Ideas for Preventing Oxidation in Opened Wine Bottles, 13 September 2010, mentioned a 23 litre demijohn of red wine that is becoming a familiar site on the counter-tops of many Sydney bars and restaurants.  It’s called Winter Twenty 10 by Voice of the People, and one of its advantages from a packaging point of view is that waiters can refill empty wine bottles from the demijohn.

Net Green News recently reported that an Idaho winery in the United States is working to reduce its carbon footprint by starting a refillable bottle program, Idaho Refills Wine Bottles, 19 September 2010. Pend d’Oreille Winery in Sandpoint, Idaho sells a 1.5 liter bottle of bistro rouge for $US25 dollars, which can be refilled for $US16 with the winemaker’s choice blend. So far the program, which was launched 18 months ago, is proving a great success with buyers who like the discount on the refill and the green message. By silk-screening the label onto the bottle, the winery has cleverly gotten around the problem of label peel when the bottle is cleaned.

The trend towards greener packaging of wine seems to be accelerating. Dave M’Intyre of The Washington Post reported that Owens-Illinois, the world’s largest producer of glass packaging, is taking several steps to reduce its carbon footprint. Soon it will begin manufacturing wine bottles that weigh up to up to 27 percent less than similar bottles in its current product line, and by 2017 it plans to produce 60 per cent of all new bottles from recycled glass, Wine to go greener: bottles get lighter, 2 June 2010. According to the company, every 10 percent of recycled glass used in producing new bottles cuts carbon emissions by 5 percent and energy consumption by 3 percent.

Liz Alderman from The New York Times reports that even the Champagne industry “has embarked on a drive to cut the 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide it emits every year transporting billions of tiny bubbles around the world.”.. [Read More]