Are Flat Wine Bottles the Net-Zero Future of Vino?

Flat wine bottles

These days, the future feels more like the present. We’re about to enter the Metaverse, electric cars are commonplace, and soon, electric planes will phase out jet engines — all in the name of net-zero.

In comes the eco, flat wine bottle innovation. It’s made from 100% recycled PET (not single-use plastic), which has superior energy efficiency and recyclability. One bottle requires 75% less energy to produce and emits 79% less CO2 than a virgin PET bottle. It also has a lower carbon footprint than both virgin PET and glass.

British-based businessman, Santiago Navarro, is the brains behind the innovation. In 2016, Navarro built an online wine business but quickly realised city-dwellers wouldn’t order from his company, Garcon Wines, unless he could offer a tight delivery window, which was expensive. So, he thought of ways to make the cost of delivery cheaper, which was largely to do with the shape of a wine bottle.

Now, Garcon Wines is leading the charge in the net-zero future of wine in the US. and UK, and is about to land in Australia.

Lucy Clements, Operations Director of Premium Wineries ANZ, looks after all the brands under Accolade Wines, including Banrock Station and Hardys.

“From a sustainability standpoint, when Garcon came into our lives, it was a no brainer,” said Clements. “It delivers sustainable messaging and lowers shipping costs and carbon imprint.”

According to Clements, flat wine bottles speak to a massive consumer demand segment of portability, sustainability, and reusability. She said, she fills her bottles with water, as a chic way to reuse the wine bottle.

If you’re wondering how it affects the taste, Clements stated the eco flat wine bottle holds the quality of wine, by keeping the oxygen low, which keeps it fresh.

Each bottle is 87% lighter than a standard wine bottle, weighing just 63g and is 40% spatially smaller than an average round glass bottle of the same volume.

“They’re picnic-friendly, and festival-friendly, as its shatterproof, and small enough to fit in a bag — with ease,” said Clements.

Although, Clements is sceptical flat wine bottles will change the future of wine. As she stated, beer and spirits are much more advanced than wine. Cask wine is still looked at as cheap wine, and screw tops can’t be sold in certain markets, such as Asia, so flat wine bottles will definitely have their own naysayers, although Clements is excited about the conversation starters.

“I think this bottle is breaking down barriers that exist with glass. If you think about it, the wine bottle hasn’t changed since 3,000 BC, when it was first invented. That’s a long time to keep something the same. This new bottle brings us into the 21st Century of convenience.

“I’ve been asked why wine comes in 750ml glass bottles. It has something to do with an old imperial system. Glass doesn’t allow oxygen to come through, but no one has challenged it—until now. Garcon Wines is allowing a conversation for a different shape, regardless of what it’s made of, just allowing a different shape to sit on shelves is groundbreaking.”

Clements explains shelves are designed to fit 750ml bottles, although the Garcon Wine bottles are challenging the format, which comes with its own barriers. For instance, in cities, many people don’t own cars, so when a store runs a promotion, they consider the consumer. One person is less likely to carry six bottles of wine home, so liquor stores would never promote six bottles. Although, with this new vessel, carrying six bottles of wine is doable.

“The retailing of products is psychological,” said Clements.

According to Clements, Banrock Station will be part of the first Australian launch of flat wine bottles.

“Banrock wines are designed to be picnic wines, relatively uncomplicated, but still fruity, and slightly over dry wines, so it just made sense for the brand to be the first Australian wines to adopt the flat wine bottle. They also have great eco-credentials,” said Clements.

The flat wine bottles are scheduled to make an Australian appearance sometime this year.

This article originally appeared on Thrillist.

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