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  • Writer's pictureSally

Château George 7 Blanc Unwrapped - wine packaging & sustainability

I keep hearing praise for wine packaging other than ‘the antiquated 75cl vessel that only came about because it was the capacity of a glassblower’s lungs’. What has astounded me about setting up a new wine domain is the number of decisions that you make every day. If you are the first generation creating a château and wines, you are starting from scratch with simply everything. So on top of shifting to farming sustainably, looking after soil health, biodiversity and inspecting every product used on the premises, packaging is a whole other area to get to grips with. (Click here for the short overview).

My red wines, Château George 7 and Prince de George 7 are AOC Fronsac wines intended to age and so bottles were the obvious choice (which doesn't mean I won't revisit this going forward). But, as I set about making my first white wine, Château George 7 Blanc, and with sustainability preoccupations as part of daily life, I was determined to look at alternative packaging. So if you are a small producer in a rather, shall we say, ‘traditional‘ wine production region, what are the real options for a small production of a good quality white wine that should keep for up to 4 years?

Not having an in-house packaging or bottling facility means that I am not tied to getting a return on investment for existing equipment. But with a very small production (only 1600 bottles of this first white wine), I don’t have economies of scale for any aspect - from the labels to the boxes. And it also means I have little clout with suppliers. I wanted to use local suppliers, who try and source their raw materials locally and so I asked them about their sustainability credentials and how to best recycle their products so that I could make informed choices. Not surprisingly, I received responses ranging from the Gallic shrug to huge power point presentations full of year on year metrics.

So what were my options?

Bag in box (BiB): Because they keep wine fresh for only 8-12 months, making a new wine which doesn’t yet have a market and with no guarantee all of it will be sold in 12 months, BiBs would b