You might be sitting there thinking — bagged wine? Yes, you read that right, and it is time to toss any of your assumptions away about the type of wine that can be packaged this way. Traynor’s approach has always been about biodiversity and sustainability, and this is just another step in that direction to make sure the packaging has the same ethos as the wine inside.
You might have some questions like we did, so we chatted with Mike Traynor to break it down for you:
Why the decision to try bagged wine instead of glass bottles?
Mike: Ultimately, sustainability. We sell and ship a lot of our wine online, and glass is extremely heavy. That makes shipping expensive and creates a higher carbon footprint. The bags also use 80% less carbon to produce than a glass bottle, so they are overall more environmentally friendly. We also like being able to offer the smaller pouches to our consumers, especially those who have never tried our wines before, or haven’t had a chance to visit and taste through our portfolio. This allows them to try more options and sample through our wine before investing in some of the higher priced bottles, or styles they have never tried before.
What wines will be available in the bags? Can you put any wine in them?
Mike: So, we won’t be putting our sparkling wines in bags right now. There are bags for sparkling wines and we are playing around with them a little bit— but we will be focused on putting our still wines in the bags, again to be able to give our consumers a chance to taste through more of our wines.
Can you age wine in bags like you can in glass bottles?
Mike: No, the wine will only last in the bags for about nine months, so the wine won’t last forever, and you can’t age it the same way you can in glass bottles. The wine we will be putting into the bags will be for consuming and enjoying while young.
Do the bags impact the taste of the wine?
Mike: We actually inject the bags with CO2 before we fill them and that protects the wine from any oxidation. The bags themselves do not change the flavor of the wine.
What’s the difference between bagging wine and bottling wine? Is the process a lot different?
Mike: Well, because it is new to us and we’re still figuring it out, it is a bit harder and slower than bottling wine, especially with the smaller pouches. It’s more labour and more time, but we’re learning as we go, and I’m sure this will change over time.
Will you be getting rid of glass bottles completely?
Mike: I don’t foresee us completely switching out from glass bottles. It would be great if we could, but I’m not quite sure if the consumer is there yet. We have customers who order multiple bottles of their favourite wines, and we will be packaging some wines in magnum sized bags, which will give them the option of going that route instead of buying two bottles — I can see that being the start of the transition. They experience the benefit firsthand.
Will more wineries be using bagged wine in the future, or is this a trend?
Mike: I hope more wineries use this form of packaging — it just makes the industry more sustainable. Wine is about sustainability, especially if you’re buying local wine, and if that is something that is important to you, either as a winemaker or a consumer this direction makes sense. You’re reducing your carbon footprint and your costs. Bottles are almost double the cost of the bags, so I think once wineries start realizing that we might see more of a shift and wider acceptance. There is an investment up front getting the equipment in place, but there is no denying the long-term impacts and benefits of making this change.
Stay tuned to learn which wines are going to be bagged soon!
Do you have a favourite new Traynor wine? Share it with us @traynorvineyard so we can taste it along with you.