Champagne bubblesBusiness

Industry collaborates on lighter sparkling wine bottles

A new sustainable sparkling wine bottle developed in South Australia is set to reduce hundreds of tons in packaging every year.

Although red, white and rose wine bottles have been available in lightweight options for some time, sparkling wine is traditionally bottled in heavier, more premium packaging.

Endeavour Group’s wine bottling and packaging arm Vinpac International has partnered with Australian glass packaging company Orora on a new lightweight 750ml sparkling bottle – the first of its kind in Australia.

The first, Australian lightweight option for bubbles has been manufactured at Orora’s facility in Gawler, South Australia, and was tested at Vinpac’s facilities in Angaston in March. It weighs 580g, which is 100g less than a standard sparkling wine bottle an approximate 15% total reduction in weight

The bottle retains the same look and feel as a standard 750ml sparkling bottle, which means there is no need to change labelling or other packaging elements.

“To have an Australian-made innovative sustainable packaging option for our customers is important to us,” said Vinpac International’s Commercial Manager James Vallance.

“By collaborating with Orora to produce a lighter weight sparkling bottle solution that will provide a combination of commercial and environmental benefits for our customers is really exciting,”

The sustainable bottle has been welcomed by Pinnacle Drinks, the supplier arm of Endeavour Group. Pinnacle Drinks is now releasing a number of brands in the lightweight sparkling bottle, including the popular Minchinbury sparkling range. The 2021 vintage has been bottled in the sustainable packaging and will be available in BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores later this month. 

“To have the Minchinbury sparkling range first to market is really exciting as it is a trusted brand,” said Pinnacle Drinks Assistant Brand Manager Nicola Demetriou. “Australians have marked special occasions and celebrations with a bottle of Minchinbury for over a century and to see the brand now move into a more sustainable packaging option is an exciting new chapter.”

There are significant environmental benefits by switching to this bottle, and Pinnacle Drinks estimates it will remove 320 tonnes of packaging from its supply chain, which equates to around 62 cars off the road each year. 

The innovation follows Dan Murphy’s launching a recycling initiative that has seen thousands of cardboard wine dividers returned to local wineries.

The idea was born when Dan Murphy’s Mornington East Wine Merchant Michael Zitzlaff saw how many wine box dividers were going into paper recycling every month. He decided there must be a way to reuse them. 

“I used to be a winemaker for 30 years, so I knew that box dividers are an additional packaging cost for wineries,” he said. 

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