Friday, May 16, 2008

California Winemaker Thinks Outside the Bottle

Dec. 19, 2007 Five years after becoming one of the first U.S. vintners to package wine in lightweight, space-saving cartons instead of bottles, California winemaker Three Thieves has expanded its green-packaging program to include new varietals, citing significant savings in materials and shipping costs.
Since 2001, Three Thieves's Bandit-brand wines have been sold in packaging-pioneer Tetra Pak's "aseptic" cartons, which reduce the packaging waste associated with bottled wine by 90% and can be distributed, warehoused, and displayed in stores without refrigeration. Aseptic cartons also fit into delivery trucks more efficiently and weigh less than glass bottles, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and saving fuel.

The savings that we pass along to the consumer are significant, considering that there are no corks, labels, or foils used, and the cartons are a fraction of the weight and cost of glass, says company cofounder Charles Bieler.

Three Thieves is now offering Bandit merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and pinot grigio in Tetra Pak's 1-liter Tetra Prisma cartons, comprised of 70% paper, as well as single-serve 250 ml cartons.

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