Its time has come! After all, the bag-in-the-box has been around for decades. Tetra Pak works well. We’re used to screw caps, plastic stoppers and even plastic bottles. The paper bottle, made of molded recycled cardboard with a plastic liner, is the latest packing innovation to debut in the California wine industry.
Aptly named Paperboy, the wine come from eco-conscious Truett Hurst, located in Healdsburg. The paper bottle hails from the UK where it has been used for various products, including milk, but not wine. So Truett Hurst is truly the global pioneer of this innovation, as is Safeway. Already available in California, the supermarket chain will roll it out nationally in 2014.
The paper bottle weighs only 65 grams for a 750 ml bottle and takes just 15% of the energy to produce. Glass weighs around 400 grams and the additional weight results in fewer cases on the truck and higher fuel costs. While glass is fully recyclable, it also consumes a lot of energy in the process.
Paper can go where glass can’t such as public parks, swimming pools, picnics (someone has to lug the wine!) and it maintains chilled temperatures longer. Paperboy can even survive an ice bucket for up to three hours. Most wine is drunk within 24 hours of purchase and this is the target market. It is not meant for cellaring.
The winery has eschewed plonk for an upscale blend of 2012 red from Paso Robles priced at $14.99 and a Mendocino chardonnay offered at $13.99. Winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix believes that if the quality exceeds the consumer’s expectation it will lead to adoption of cutting edge packaging.