South Africa has done its damndest over the past decade or so to be taken more seriously as producers of quality wines. That’s no longer in question but from 2010 onwards they’re going to be regarded as somewhat lightweight.
The reason for this is a definite swing away from environmentally unfriendly heavy bottles to newer, lighter bottles. Until now the industry standard has been bottles weighing 500g, although a few examples tipped the scales at up to one kilogram each! Add the carbon footprint of exporting that bottle, along with the ethical and environmental baggage and it’s obvious why the new 350g bottle is being welcomed in many quarters.
WOSA CEO Su Birch stated in a media release this week that the SA wine industry was aware of the environmental impact of their product and while actively supporting bottle recycling efforts over the past few years they were now throwing their weight behind lighter bottles too.
“The new 350g glass bottles for red and white wines have been designed to accommodate screwcap closures, which account for over 65% of South Africa’s wine production,” Birch said. April should see the first few bottles start to roll off the production line, in time for the 2010 harvest.
Local suppliers had also achieved a substantial saving in mass on bottles sealed with corks – from an average 570g to 460g.
Hopefully the combination of heavyweight wine quality and lightweight bottles will be a winner.