A California company offers its wine in reusable, stainless steel bottles to reduce waste and keep their products local.
There's something romantic about a glass wine bottle with a real cork, but there's almost nothing sustainable about it. Add that to all the artificial fertilizers used to grow the grapes and carbon emissions produced to transport them from the vineyard to the processing plant, and you're dealing with a pretty hefty footprint.
That's why Jennifer and Kevin Kelley started the Natural Process Alliance, a wine making outfit in the San Francisco Bay area. But instead of offering just "organic" or "biodynamic" products they've attempted to strip away all the modern wine-making conventions- including the bottle.
The Alliance has partnered with Kleen Kanteen to package their wine in stainless steel bottles. These bottles are filled at the cellar and delivered to their customers (all within 100 miles of the winery) while the empties are returned to the winery for reuse. This cyclical process recalls the milkman deliveries of decades past, with no more glass, cork, or waste.
But that's not all the Alliance is doing to respect the planet while making a delicious product. Whenever possible, they hand farm instead of using machinery, establish a symbiotic relationship in the fields by using native cover crops, and strive to have a label that reads, "Ingredients: Grapes" (even though the FDA doesn't believe you can really make wine without other ingredients).
The Kelley's believe "in the creation of wine, there are innumerable natural processes that are elegant in their simplicity and astonishing in their effectiveness. Our role is but one of these processes and is no more significant than any other. We have joined a natural alliance that has been ignored for far too long."
Image Credit: NoLa