This from Daily Wine News.
Some U.S. wine producers are shipping wine in kegs, instead of bottles to restaurants and bars. They say, for consumers it should mean better wines at cheaper prices.
"I got the idea from my trip to Italy," said Chris Hall, general manager and co-owner of the Long Meadow Ranch winery in Napa California. He uses 19-liter, stainless steel kegs to serve his organic wines at his tasting room and to ship them to restaurants.
"In Italy, it is not uncommon to have good wine on draft in a casual restaurant. It's how they pour it into a carafe. And the real surprise to me was how good the wine was. There wasn't really any pretence about it. It was good, honest wine," Hall said.
To push the wine from the keg they use a blend of nitrogen and CO2. Hoping to not make the glassful too gassy.
This was done in New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990’s by Penfolds (part of Montana). The wine served was gassy, watered down crap.
|Montana, who had taken over Penfolds (NZ) used the Penfolds name for bulk wines, not wanting to taint the Montana 'reputation'|
Back to USA.
“Jean-Charles Boisset, whose family owns vineyards in both France and California, is using a traditional container, French oak wine barrels, to ship wine directly to consumers as well as restaurants from both his DeLoach and Raymond Vineyards. The barrels contain a plastic bladder, much like box wines, that can hold up to 10-liters or nearly 70 glasses of either Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Sounds like a big bag in the box idea to me. Chain restaurants, pubs and clubs used to do this in new Zealand with 10 and 20 litre boxes. The wine was crap. Consumers eventually voted with their feet. Today wine in a box offerings are only found in RSA’s and Cosmopolitan clubs in outlying towns like Nuova Lazio.
“Whether keg or barrel, the larger formats eliminate the risk of a corked bottle, protect against oxidation and reduce both packaging and the carbon footprint, according to the wine producers.”