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Boisset's big idea is a 1-L PET wine bottle

Boisset.jpgBoisset Family Estates, a Burgundy, France-based wine and spirits maker, has recently begun U.S. distribution of Fog Mountain Merlot in a 1-L PET bottle, the first California wine in the larger-sized, lightweight bottle featuring Constar's MonOxbar® oxygen-scavenging technology from Constar.

Boisset says that its decision to introduce Fog Mountain Merlot in a 1-L PET bottle rather than a 750-mL PET bottle is based on consumer feedback. Because PET is significantly thinner than glass, 750-mL plastic bottles are smaller than their glass counterparts, creating the perception of containing less wine. So Boisset says that it made its big idea even bigger, moving from the traditional 750-mL size to an attention-grabbing 1-L format, opening the door to new opportunities and benefits to wine lovers, retailers, and the hospitality industry.

A 1-L Fog Mountain Merlot PET bottle contains 33% more wine than a standard 750-mL glass bottle, even though the two bottles are similar in physical size. The additional volume equates to more servings—about seven in all—and greater value per bottle, retailing at about $12. The plastic bottle, finished with a convenient screw closure, is portable and shatterproof, making it an attractive option for entertaining, as well as for the hotel and restaurant trade. It also displays well on the shelf.

Sustainability matters
While size matters, the package's sustainability also earns high marks. The PET bottles have a smaller carbon footprint than comparable glass bottles and require less energy to produce, ship, and recycle, Boisset claims. After contents have been enjoyed, the bottles can be placed in curbside recycling bins, and the reclaimed material can be used to make a host of new products, such as packaging, sleeping bags, clothing, carpeting, and even tires.

“We are excited to add Fog Mountain to our leading portfolio of wines in innovative packaging,” says Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates. “We genuinely believe that it’s vital for all of us to consider the environmental impact of our wines, our businesses, and our products, and to find solutions to reduce our impact while delivering the highest-quality and best value that consumers desire. Fog Mountain and the other wines that we bottle in PET are part of that solution.

“We are genuinely thrilled at the positive reactions to the new Fog Mountain bottle from our partners in the distribution world. Many have called it the best PET wine bottle presentation that they have seen. We know we can rely on MonOxbar barrier technology to maintain the integrity of our wine."

Eco-friendly bottles uses oxygen barrier
PET bottles made with MonOxbar are designed to maintain the delicate flavor, aroma, and color of wine, as active barrier materials prevent oxygen from permeating the package. The bottles, designed in the classic claret shape, are blow-molded by Field Manufacturing from preforms supplied by Constar.

In collaboration with and Merrills Packaging, Field Manufacturing creates PET bottles with state-of-the-art production equipment from Sidel and Husky Injection Molding Systems at its facility in Burlingame, CA. The company supplies its eco-friendly plastic EnVino wine bottles using Constar’s oxygen barrier technology.

Constar marketing director Alex Fioravanti says that winemakers around the world are embracing the company's high-barrier PET technology in increasing numbers and gives much of the credit to Boisset Family Estates for leading the way. "Jean-Charles Boisset had the vision to recognize the synergy between great wine, a great package, and a growing preference for more sustainable packaging. People are taking notice that you can enjoy fine wine in something other than glass and appreciate the convenience that lighter, shatterproof, recloseable bottles provide."

The new 1-L PET bottles of Fog Mountain Merlot are available nationwide on-premise at JW Marriott hotels and off-premise at Total Wine stores, with additional restaurant, retail, and hotel partners expected by mid-2009.

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