We announced our World Class in Lighter Glass initiative back in June. The TL;DR:
- Wine bottles are too heavy.
- Wineries try to communicate quality by putting wine in heavy glass bottles.
- There's no tangible benefit to heavier glass other than marketing.
- It's not a trivial amount of weight. Some 12x750mL cases weigh more than 10 lbs more than others.
- Kiona is going to put all of our wine, regardless of price, into lighter glass bottles.
Our industry is steeped in tradition. We do a lot of things because it's just the way that it's done. Heavy glass bottles are a relic of the past, an outdated tradition that needs to go away. Consumers are savvy enough to know that heavier glass does not equate to more wine or better wine.
There will be a time, hopefully in the near future, where heavy glass bottles will be seen as garish and wasteful, not a signifier of quality but a testament to excess.
We think so; that's why we're actively moving away from heavy glass bottles now. Wine production timeframes are loooong (3+ years), which is why we'll write up an occasional World Class in Lighter Glass update here for transparency's sake. We've still got heavy glass in inventory, and while we're steadily working through it, it's not as if we can flip a switch and move over to the lighter bottles right away.
Today we bottled a new wine in our Vineyard Series, Ranch at the End of the Road. This wine will stand alongside Old Block, Heart of the Hill, and others at the tippy-top of our pricing structure. And it went into light glass bottles. A full case of Ranch at the End of the Road weighs 34.5 pounds, which is 10.5 lbs lighter than what a case of Heart of the Hill weighed. Let's tally up the benefits:
- We'll save CO2 expenditures at every step of the supply chain. (PS, we use domestically-produced glass)
- Pedro M., who stacked and palletized the finished wine today, lifted 2,887.5 lbs less than he would have using the older, heavier bottles (10.5 lbs x 275 cases).
- Our customers will pay less in shipping. For example, here is a real UPS Ground quote that I just generated (from Benton City to Massachusetts):
- 34.5 pound case - $31.71
- 45 pound case - $36.94 (16.5% increase)