Greener Wine

You may remember I blogged about wine companies becoming greener by putting them in boxes. This time, a recent article in The New York Times discussed how wine companies can go green by using lighter bottles.

One of the easiest ways a wine company can reduce its glass use is by knocking off some weight at the bottle's base. The heavy and expensive cavities at the bottom are meant to collect sediment for aging, so they are not necessary for everyday wines. For example, Chardonnay should be consumed within six months compared to a Champagne bottle that might sit in storage for years.

Fetzer Vineyards is a company that is trying to reduce transportation costs and improve its environmental impact by using less glass in its bottles. The new bottles are on average 14 percent lighter; with 23 million bottles a year shipped, that adds up to 2,200 tons of glass saved. This translates to less resources used, less money spent on materials and less fuel needed for transport.

The new bottles have the same shapes and colors as traditional ones, but most have a flat bottom. The traditional indentation at the bottom of the bottle is being kept for some of Fetzer's premium wines. Click here to see more information on Fetzer's recent developments.

In addition to making bottles lighter, some wineries are going green by changing their production methods. Frog's Leap boasts not only organic wine, but also uses 100% solar energy, dry farming techniques, geothermal heating and cooling, and built its Hospitality Center and Administrative Office according to LEED standards.

It's great to know that your wine not only tastes good but is also working to reduce its footprint.

And of course, all bottles should use recycled glass. According to article in The Times, the Glass Packaging Institute aims to have their customers use 50 percent recycled glass by 2013.