Respecting nature is at the heart of our relationship with wine. For this reason we strive to minimize negative impact on the environment while producing the beverage that we all love. The major carbon footprint of wine often surprises people. Its not the farming or fermentation… it’s the packaging! This is why we do everything in our power to minimize this environmental cost.
We think the question should be “Why capsules?”
We choose sustainable practices in our fruit sourcing, winemaking and packaging decisions. Bottling in lighter glass and using natural corks leads to a product that consumes fewer resources, and this philosophy extends to our decision to eschew capsules. Years ago, lead capsules kept rodents from chewing through corks while wine rested in cellars. Now that lead is outlawed, capsules are essentially decoration.
The production of wine capsules consumes hundreds of tons of metal per year, the electricity to manufacture them, and in many cases, carbon to ship them halfway around the world. Even with our small production, that means our decision to go capsule free has saved 180 pounds of tin from being mined in Asia, smelted from ore to tin, shipped from Spain to be milled into capsules, and then shipped to California to ultimately end up in the landfill.
We take care to be conscious of the importance of tradition and ritual in wine service, but when that tradition is wasteful, unsustainable, and has little point other than covering up the cork, we say it’s not worth it. Not to mention, it is one more step between you and the enjoyment of a bottle of Complant wine. Let’s leave that tin for making toy soldiers.
The Glass Bottles
We also search out the lightest glass we can find. The more a bottle weighs the higher its impact on the environment. Many people subconsciously associate a heavy bottle with a more serious “weighty” product. At Complant we prefer to let the wines speak for themselves without the extra pomp and circumstance.
We prefer to use natural corks because not only are they the best closure from the point of view of Oxygen Transfer Rate (which translates to proper aging), but they are a recyclable and sustainable resource. The peeling of the bark from cork oaks does not harm the tree and they can grow for hundreds of years with regular harvests. It is now possible to get corks screened for cork taint and so corky bottles can largely be a thing of the past.