Thanks to Yali for following up on my recent post re 'lightweight' bottles that are not really lightweight at all. They tell me that they now have their bottles down to 335grams. Now that is genuinely lightweight. Well done to them. Yali is a winery that has signed up to Chile's Sustainability Programme. Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Yali wine maker Alejandro Galaz for Checkout magazine. (Yali wines are widely distributed via the Barry Group, Pallas Foods and Tesco). At the time he told me that, "We (Vina Ventisquero) own our own land and so we can keep production costs low and keep quality levels high." So, even though they have the ability to keep their costs low they still went ahead and reduced their bottle weight. Why bother when light bottles are harder to sell?
Without meaning to mix my wineries I asked this very question earlier this week to Elena Carratero, Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Santa Rita Estates. Elena was part of a travelling team of experts to a South American Wine Workshop in London hosted by Santa Rita Estates. The workshop was quite brilliant. (The Expert line-up included, Silvio Rostagno CEO Santa Rita Estates, world renowned Brian Croser, Tim Atkin MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Peter Richards MW, Santa Rita Head Winemakers Cecilia Torres and Andres Ilabaca, Carmen Head Winemaker Sebastian Labbe and the ever brilliant Edgardo del Popolo Head Winemaker from Dona Paula in Argentina. Lots and lots more about this in later posts because it really was a genuinely brilliant forum.)
Within this context - ! phew - Elena told me that wine packaging will generally account for 40% of a wines carbon footprint. 40% is a very high number. I had thought that transport from South America would account for at least this amount. Not even close. Elena agrees that reducing bottle weight reduces carbon feet via transport charges but only by a small percentage. If a winery is serious it seems that it needs to go the full hog and have it's bottles made as efficiently as possible, made as light as possible and still keep them as strong as possible.This weekend I reckon I'll weigh a few more bottles. Let's see if we can get down to that 335 grams!
|A Happy Pairing: Brian Croser on the left with Silvio Rostagno in London this week|
By the by, Santa Rita Estates is the first of the largest wine groups in Chile to achieve certification as a Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile. Not bad for a company farming 4,000 hectares of vines!