Bringing new meaning to the old saying “flat out like a lizard drinking”, the first “flat” wine bottles have hit the Australian market.
The collaboration between UK-based packaging company Packamama and winemakers Accolade Wines and Taylors Wines, the so-called eco-bottle aims to reduce the environmental impact of the local wine industry.
The bottle shape, which has the silhouette of a traditional Bordeaux wine bottle until turned on its side, allows twice as many bottles to fit in a standard wine case.
The eco-bottles are made entirely from Australian-sourced 100 per cent recycled PET plastic.
Manufacturers claim the bottle is 83 per cent lighter and 32 per cent more space-efficient, leading to a reduction in emissions from transportation.
If both Accolade and Taylors to switch entirely to eco-bottles, it would cut 250,000kms of road freight per year, or the equivalent of a semi-trailer traveling from Melbourne to Broome 50 times.
Not including the bottle cap, an empty eco-bottle is fully recyclable.
Other benefits cited include the convenience of the lighter bottle, which can be taken to events where glass is prohibited, such as music festivals.
The first wines to go into the new bottles will be Banrock Station’s pinot grigio and pinot noir, as well as Taylor’s One Small Step chardonnay and shiraz.
All four drops are on sale nationally for $16 a bottle from Liquorland and First Choice Liquor Market stores, which are both part of Coles Group.
The eco-flat range is also currently served on Virgin Australia flights.
While more upmarket wines will continue to be sold in traditional round wine bottles, Packamama founder Santiago Navarro pointed to the fact Australia invented cask wine and helped develop the screwcap (or Stelvin) for wines as signs why Aussie drinkers will embrace the latest innovation in plonk packaging.
Coles Liquor spokesperson Mia Lloyd added that winemakers and customers are both keen to reduce the environmental impact of their regular tipple.
She said the new eco-bottle “significantly reduces the carbon footprint of wine for customers every day”.
“The lightweight and flattering eco-bottles also gives our customers a convenient new option when they’re packing for that camping or caravan holiday,” Ms Lloyd added.
Accolade Wines launched the eco-flat bottle in Europe two years ago.
Accolade global chief marketing officer Sandy Mayo said the latest packaging innovation followed wine in cans, wine in tap, “bagnums” as well as various on-premise designs hoping to get the wine industry thinking outside the glass bottle.
Third-generation winemaker and Taylors managing director Mitchell Taylor said Aussie wine lovers are open to innovation “when it provides real benefits”.
“Australia led the global change from cork to screwcap and Taylors was the first major producer to bottle all our wines (in screwcaps),” he said.
“We believe Australians will again lead in adopting the most sustainable bottle.”