The W/O (standing for ‘without’) Frappato 2020 – an organic Sicilian red – is packaged in a bottle made with ‘wild’ glass (the name bottle manufacturer Estal has given to its 100% recycled glass).
The launch, which forms part of the company’s pledge to become Net Zero and halve its carbon footprint by 2030, marked a ‘UK first for wine’, according to the online wine merchant.
It follows a recent audit commissioned from EcoAct – a specialist company advising on sustainability, which showed that several factors, mostly outside Laithwaites’ direct control, contributed to 95% of the emissions footprint of a bottle of wine.
‘Customers still want the bottle of wine they know and love, so while we will of course continue to look at alternative packaging, we wanted to find a traditional format that reduces our impact on the environment,’ said Michael Johnson, innovation director at Laithwaites.
‘We happen to have found one that is also really beautiful. Because it essentially gives old glass a new life, every bottle is unique and a little ‘wild’ – with a slightly varied hue, little shimmers, and even tiny bubbles,’ he said.
Moreover, customers can then either recycle the bottle themselves, or re-use it as a vase, a water bottle … ‘the possibilities, like the recycling, are endless’, he added.
If the W/O Frappato is successful, Laithwaites told Decanter it planned to add a rosé and a white wine to the collection. ‘What we are doing across our entire range is light weighting all our glass bottles where possible which also helps to make glass ‘greener,’ said Johnson.
In a bid to reduce W/O Frappato’s impact on the environment, the cork is displayed without a capsule, while the fully biodegradable label is a deliberately narrow strip, made using a single colour printing process and environmentally friendly pulp.
Instead, and in another first for the company, additional information is accessed via a QR code. ‘A true extension of the wine experience – one that enables us to whisk our customers to Italy and allow them to hear the producer’s story for themselves,’ said Johnson.
W/O Frappato has been made in partnership with Dino Tashcetti at his co-operative winery, one of Sicily’s leading organic producers, according to Laithwaites.
W/O Frappato 2020 will be available from Laithwaites at £11.99 (£9.99 in a mix of 12+ bottles) from 27th January 2022.