New bottles, corks and labels; an Inaugural "Earth Day Report;" and a Green Bike Giveaway mark the winery's commitment to sustainability
If sustainability is a journey, Frei Brothers Reserve has covered quite a bit of ground over the past year, expanding its sustainability focus from what's in the bottle to the bottle itself. New earth-friendly packaging is showing up in stores now, just as the winery releases its first-ever "Earth Day Report." The report shares how far Frei Brothers has come -- and how far it wants to go -- in its pursuit of "preserving natural resources without compromising the integrity of the wine."
The line-up of eco-upgrades for the brand includes bottles that use less glass, corks that use more of the tree, and capsules and labels that create less waste.
Specifically, here's what's rolling out in 2012 on the packaging front:
-- Lightweight Bottles: Frei Brothers is reducing the overall weight of its
bottle by 15 percent. That saves over a half-million pounds of glass
each year. Every pound of glass saved reduces the total amount of carbon
emissions used in the production and the transportation of the wine.
-- Recycled/Recyclable Labels and Capsules: Post-consumer paper stock and
aluminum capsules are now being used. This increases their
recyclability, thus reducing consumer waste.
-- Shipping Containers printed with Soy Ink: Frei Brothers' shipping boxes
will remain as durable as before but will now be more sustainable thanks
to a smart mixture of recycled and virgin fiber and the use of soy
versus petroleum-based inks.
-- More Sustainable Corks: Traditional wine corks utilize only part of the
tree's bark, so Frei Brothers is switching to cork material like that
used in Champagne bottles. These corks utilize the entire cork tree,
thus reducing waste.
To put its new packaging into a bigger context, Frei Brothers decided to release its first-ever Earth Day Report this month too. The report includes updates on energy conservation, transportation, water conservation and habitat preservation.
"Earth Month is a logical time for us to look back on where we've been. It's also a good time to look ahead to where we're going," says Jim Collins, chief viticulturist at Frei Brothers Reserve. "The report will serve as a benchmark each year and a way to highlight goals and milestones on everything we're doing, from grape to glass."
To celebrate the release of the report as well as the packaging upgrades, Frei Brothers is conducting a Green Bike Giveaway during the month of April. People can enter to win the sweepstakes on the winery's Facebook page.*
Collins leads a team of farmers and works hand-in-hand with winemakers to practice sustainable farming and winemaking and to help realize exceptional quality and authentic flavors in the wine. Frei Brothers Reserve expresses the best of Sonoma County's sub-AVAs, including the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. Frei Brothers Reserve crafts six critically acclaimed wines that are available nationwide and retail from $17 to $27. Visit www.freibrothers.com for more information.