In these times of more active ecology in all facets of life, I have often wondered as to why we don’t recycle our wine bottles. Naturally, a great many of us divert them from the landfill by tossing them in the glass bin to be melted down to make new bottles. But, this isn’t what I’m getting at as wineries typically use the same bottles from year to year and so why, when we’re finished with a wine from a specific winery, do we not return bottles directly to them to be re-bottled like some dairies are doing again?

In searching around, the only trace of this happening in the US was at a winery in Texas of all places [update: they seem to have stopped]. In California, the huge wine producing state with tough environmental laws, it seems that little is thought of this practice. Even a company called, Empordà wine guide that we came across a winery that will directly re-use their old bottles. As you can see in the picture above from Mas Molla, they use one type of bottle. When people bring them back, they get a €0.20 discount off the wine, which when most bottles are €1.90 means an 11% discount, just for being a good citizen of the earth.

It should be noted that this wine is “vi de pagés” which directly means, “peasant wine” but is much more akin to what English speakers know as “natural wine”. Perhaps this is part of the reason why they reuse their bottles in that they aren’t dealing with selling at schmancy prices. Thus, it would seem that the reason we’re wasting squatloads of energy to remake the exact same bottles a winery has just sold a wine in, is purely for the sake of perception, which is pretty ludicrous when you think about it.


2 responses to “Reusing wine bottles… at the winery”

  1. Goran says:

    Nice thoughts. It would be even better that somehow wine bottles could be personalized to each customer. Then you would perceive it like your favorite office mug that you use for many years. And you would feel more connected with the winemaker.
    I have few winemakers here in Istria that I follow for many years and I will ask them how do they like the idea.

  2. Miquel Hudin says:

    Some small producers in Spain (and most likely in Croatia as well) have played with the idea of putting a random name in the punt of the base to personalize each wine, which is possible when you only produce 1,000 bottles a year.

    For me, I have an 5L water bottle for bulk wines that definitely has my name on it ;) Need to get some bulk Plavac again when in Croatia in a few months. Good stuff.

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