Minimal Waste Bottling
- August 20, 2018
Bottling is the process with the most potential waste during the production of wine. We bring in a number of different items and coordinate with numerous suppliers to put our wine into the packaging that will ultimately make its way to you. As we try to become more sustainable, create less waste and reduce carbon emissions, we looked at our bottling practices to ensure we are doing everything we can to create the least amount of trash as possible.
Winemaker Parke (or Dad to me) and his team are dedicated to minimizing the amount of trash generated that will end up in a landfill. They have done an amazing job of producing very little waste with the bulk being recycled or reused. Not only do we reduce the waste, but in the end, we actually save (and even make!) money by reusing and recycling.
There are four primary items that are used during bottling – wine bottles, corks, capsules and labels. We looked at each item and the packaging that comes with it to see what becomes trash, is recycled or reused.
Here is a list of the four items, the packaging that comes with each of them and what we do with that packaging.
We knew we generated quite a bit of recycling, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that only one item (damaged labels) out of 19 items becomes trash… and a damaged or unused label is rare.
The cellar team takes the time to repair Hafner pallets that we bottle onto and reuse throughout the year to store our wine. And in repairing the pallets, any old or broken nails are even recycled.
We spend four weeks bottling. At the start, we took a photo of the trash can in the cellar and posted a note, hoping that only bottling garbage would find its way into the bin.
At the end of bottling, we only accumulated a 1/3 of a trash can full of garbage, mainly torn labels and a few other miscellaneous items.
Finding ways to recycle or reuse nearly every piece from bottling is not easy. It takes coordination with suppliers, extra time and effort plus some creativity, but in the end, we know that we are doing the best we can to reduce waste and minimizing what goes to landfills. For those who enjoy our wine, we hope you take pride in this too!
From Day One, we have tried to use packaging that is easily recyclable (or reusable), no Styrofoam. Many patrons have found clever ways to reuse the boxes, and we always enjoying seeing photos of your creations. We encourage you to recycle our bottles and packaging whenever you can. Thanks for also doing your part to minimize our impact on the planet. We really appreciate it.