CANADA – Stratus Vineyards, renowned for its innovative and sustainable winemaking practices, has unveiled a new super-premium wine packaged in bottles being reused for the second time.

This pioneering project marks a significant milestone as the first North American winery to re-use its own glass wine bottles, setting a new standard for environmental responsibility in the wine industry.

“Our commitment to environmental stewardship is paramount, as evidenced by our attainment of LEED certification for our entire facility – a global first for wineries,” states Estate Director Suzanne Janke.

Driven by a passion for innovation and community engagement, this re-use initiative originated when Winemaker Dean Stoyka collaborated with environmental students from Niagara College in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

The study revealed that glass production accounted for a significant portion (39%) of the winery’s carbon footprint.

According to the Porto Protocol, glass’s impact rises to 50-70 percent when factoring in energy for production and transportation.

Additionally, silica sand, a key glassmaking component, is the world’s second most exploited resource per a 2022 UN report, underscoring the urgency for sustainable practices.

Despite being common in smaller European wine regions, bottle re-use remains uncommon in Canada. Unlike the beer industry, where standardized bottles are returned for refilling, this practice is not yet widespread in the Canadian wine landscape.

To explore solutions, Stoyka partnered with Circulr, a Kitchener-based pioneer in glass re-use within food packaging.

Stratus wine bottles, collected from consumers and the winery’s tasting room, underwent trials for label removal, sterilization, and food safety by Circulr. Cleaned and prepared, these bottles now hold a distinctive new wine, set for release on April 22 – Earth Day.

“This marks a transformative step for the Canadian wine industry. We’re thrilled to expand this initiative and grateful for Stratus’s leadership in driving change,” remarks Tyler DeSousa, co-founder of Circulr.

The chosen wine for this landmark bottling is an innovative blend rooted in tradition – a Field Blend of three rare Ontario varieties: Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Tannat, co-fermented in homage to ancient winemaking practices.

Labeled PVMT on eco-friendly paper with water-soluble glue for easy removal, these experimental plantings at Stratus embody the winery’s ethos of “Diversity for Complexity.”

The result is a unique and delightful wine that captures Stratus’s sustainable spirit from grape to glass.

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