It’s safe to say that FINE knows and loves the wine industry, having done perhaps more custom winery sites than any company on earth. It’s an interesting mix of the old – dusty bottles in a basement, wooden barrels made by hand, revered traditions – and the new – vineyard management with satellites, online marketing, the chemistry of oenology. Squarely in the “new” camp comes a story (originally from The Guardian) that I recently came across about Greenbottle, a UK firm that is set to start selling a paper wine bottle.
Certainly, there’s many questions to be answered. Would this package allow the wine to age properly, for one. But 10% of the the carbon footprint of a traditional glass bottle in manufacturing and shipping? Compostable? And keeps the wine in pristine condition? What’s not to love?
Regardless of the benefits of this new development in packaging, I think this story emphasizes something even more important – the real test is whether or not it takes hold with consumers. Is it really that important to consumers to have their wine poured from glass, or is it matter of comfort and expectation? Does a paper bottle make the wine seem like a commodity, rather than a premium product? How can wineries (and their partners like FINE) help move the needle of consumer preference for a technology (glass bottles) that has been around nearly as long as people have been making wine?