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UK-based Berry Bros & Rudd said it will start selling capsule-free wine this month, beginning with its ‘Own Selection’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2019, produced for the company by Château La Nerthe.

The fine wine and spirits merchant said it also planned to remove capsules from other Own Selection products in a phased initiative that aims to reduce packaging, preserve materials and avoid waste.

While some wines for longer-term ageing are considered to benefit from capsules, Berry Bros said there was an opportunity to go capsule-free on a number of ‘Own Selection’ wines that are intended for drinking within a three-year timeframe.

For wines intended for near-term drinking, removing capsules won’t affect the liquid inside the bottle but could help to preserve resources and energy, the merchant said.

‘As a company with a heritage of over 300 years, it’s natural for us to look ahead to the needs of future generations,’ said Lizzy Rudd, chair of Berry Bros & Rudd.

‘The use of capsules in wine to be drunk now is purely cosmetic and we are pleased to be launching the first of our Own Selection wines in capsule-free packaging.’

Rudd added, ‘We hope that other wine companies will follow suit and remove superfluous capsules.’

She also said it was ‘one small but important step’ in the company’s wider plan to be at net-zero carbon by 2030.

The packaging project is the first in a series of changes Berry Bros is looking to make to deliver on this target, and also become plastic-free by 2030.

Alongside that, the company is set to offer what it claims to be the largest fine wine storage facility for private clients in Europe via a new warehouse due to open for operations in summer 2022 and set to be carbon-neutral by 2025.

The new site will generate its own energy supply, harvest rainwater and include electric vehicle charging points, the merchant said.

Packaging is a major issue for the wine world when it comes to climate impact, wrote Rupert Joy in his ‘rethinking your drinking’ article in the latest issue of Decanter magazine.


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