Weight of a wine bottle

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From a marketing point of view, packaging plays a fundamental role in the perceived value of wine, and marketers spend a lot of efforts in the design of bottles and labels

As described by many researchers in the field of neuro-ergonomics, the application of neuroscience to ergonomics, people tend to think that a wine packed in a tall, dark and heavy bottle tastes much better than the same wine bottled in a lighter one.

It is a fact that wineries have increased the weight of their packaging materials in the past years, using heavier bottles for their top wines and/or for limited issues, with the purpose of attracting consumers and pushing the sales of a special product line.
However, this choice is barely sustainable: several studies conducted by the University of Siena (see here and here for articles in Italian) show that the carbon footprint of an empty wine bottle almost equals its weight, the production of one ounce of bare glass resulting in about the same quantity of CO₂ emissions into Earth’s atmosphere.

Furthermore, the heavier is the bottle, the higher the consumption of gasoline needed for transportation, which converts in even more emissions.

Where is the solution?

From my personal point of view, it is difficult to get rid of glass, as it is the best material for wine bottling: it is inert, meaning that it does not interfere with wine’s chemical or physical composition even in the long term; it is easy to sanitize, and it is reusable and recyclable to infinity. To reduce its weight - and the consequent emissions - is, on the contrary, a categorical imperative.

My choice for sustainability not only focuses on the wine production processes, but also on the different aspects of the wine business, where distribution is a crucial point.
In 2012 we have reduced the bottle’s weight for our “Classic” range from 21.16 to 15.80 oz., and again in 2016 from 15.80 to 12.70 oz.
We have also started to bottle our wines within the “Crus” range in lighter Bordeaux bottles, dropping their weight from 24.70 to 21 oz. in 2014, and again in 2016 to 16.90 oz.
In 2014 we have started to experiment with a new Burgundy bottle for Ammàno and Ciàtu, then we have used the same container for some of our top range wines that were formerly bottled in heavier glass (Grillo Coste al Vento and Microcosmo Perricone, for example), thus cutting our packaging related emission for those wines by 27% in three years [article updated in december 2020].

Inzolia: infografica vitigno e vino

>>> Download here the infographic describing 
our choices for a sustainable business

The shift was not painless: many restaurant owners, for instance, have criticized my choice, complaining for what they judged a “mortified” corporate image that would diminish the perceived value of their wine list.

But I do believe that the social benefits associated with the cutting of bottles weight are far more desirable than the consequences of what I basically consider an overestimation: when it comes to wine, the time has come to stop looking at the outside and to start caring about the inside of the bottle, where the real value that your money is paying for is located.


Tags: marketing del vino, sostenibilità, carbon footprint



Grape variety: Inzolia grown in Dietro le Case vineyard
Soil: clay soil with calcareous components, very rich in limestones and sea minerals
Vineyard: planted in 1960s, head-trained bush vines
Winemaking: skin contact for 48 hours in steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation: spontaneous, with wild yeast
Malolactic fermentation: spontaneous
Refining: 4 months on fine lees, in steel tanks
Aging: one oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment
Average production: a few dozen bottles every some years

Download wine sheet


The grapes are handpicked the first half of September, when they are fully ripe. The traditional pruning system - called "a pezzo e spalla" - and the age of the vines, allow slow constant ripening cycles and a great aromatic concentration.

The fermentation is spontaneous, with 2 days skin contact. After soft pressing, the fermentation continues for 8 days in steel tanks. After malolactic is completed, the wine refines on fine lees for about 4 months and is then racked into one single oak barrel, where it ages in perpetuum with its sediment.

The wine is bottled directly from the barrel no more than 2-3 times every decade.


Altrimenti has a bright amber color, enlivened by golden hues. Its nose is predominantly tertiary, where fruity notes of apricot and ripe figs blend onto an intense and aromatic herbal background, enriched by roasted and dried nuts.

It is dry and full bodied to the palate, with a distinct savory personality that harmoniously meets a tannic finish.

Pour Altrimenti in wide glasses, at a fresh but not chilled temperature.
Please avoid freezers and blast chillers, as well as a prolonged time in your home refrigerator: this wine is not filtered nor fined, and any temperature below 40 °F will mortify its complex aromas.

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