Mother Earth Living

Organic Boxed Wine: A Box of Wine and Thou

This boxed wine produces the lowest number of greenhouse gas emissions and solid wastes.
By Wayne E. Mayer
November/December 2008
Add to My MSN

Three Thieves premium Bandit wines in Tetra Pak boxes.
Photos By Michelle Galins

Content Tools

Related Content

Best for Kitchen and Bath

Wine vats become countertops, and old windshields become shower doors. These great products showcase...

Boxed Wine 101: Interview with Heather Pyle, CalNaturale

While I’m by no means a wine aficionado, I do consider myself a wine enthusiast—and my enthusiasm do...

Innovation in Winemaking: Interview with Heather Pyle, CalNaturale

Heather Pyle of CalNaturale explains how she balances traditional winemaking practices with innovati...

Product of the Week: CalNaturale Wines

CalNaturale Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are made from organically grown grapes and come in eco...

Wine enthusiasts may scoff at wine out of a box, but this particular variety of wine snobbery may soon disappear. A Franklin Associates life-cycle inventory of wine containers found that Tetra Pak boxes (cardboard boxes lined with aluminum and polyethylene) have the lowest energy requirements and produce the lowest greenhouse gas emissions and solid wastes. Glass weighs the most, consumes the most energy and generates the most emissions and solid wastes.

“When shipping more than 300 miles, weight matters—less weight means less fossil fuel to transport and less CO2 emissions,” says Lyle Clarke, environmental manager for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

Recyclable Tetra Pak boxes are manufactured using mostly paper fiber from responsibly managed forests, and the company is developing easier recycling technologies for the aluminum and polyethylene liners.

“Most boxes feature one-way valves that dispense their contents without allowing the remaining liquid to come in contact with air, preserving the wine’s integrity for up to a month,” explains Josh Wesson, founder and senior director of the innovative wine retailer Best Cellars.

In addition, the lower cost of packaging and transporting boxed wine lets producers offer higher-quality wines at lower prices. To find out more, visit


To be sure the wine glasses you drink from are also light on the environment, check out these options.

Terra Keramik’s handmade Glasi wine glasses contain no lead and are designed to enhance the taste of certain varietals. Terra Keramik uses responsible manufacturing practices including renewable energy, heat-recovery systems, dust capture and recycling. Wine decanter (2-liter capacity): $145. Bourdeaux wine glass: $58. Chardonnay and Burgundy wine glasses: $50.
(203) 644-0427. 

The Green Glass Company’s engraved vintage colored glasses are fashioned out of recycled Napa Valley wine bottles. Willow Collection (pictured): $60 for four. (715) 355-1897.

Uncommon Goods’ sturdy, stemless Glass From the Past wine glasses are handmade in Colombia from recycled car windshields and windows. $22 for two. (888) 365-0056.

Wine Resources

Black Box Wines
(888) 659-7900

Three Thieves
(866) 584-2697

The Mendocino Wine Company
(888) 362-9463

Quivira Vineyard
(800) 292-8339
Badger Mountain Vineyard
(800) 643-9463

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.