Paper Wine Bottles? Yup.

A new container technology for wine promises to lighten the load at recycling centers across the country. The new Paper Boy wine comes in a recycled cardboard “bottle” and reduces the carbon footprint of enjoying wine by an impressive 67 percent, according to the wine manufacturer, Truett-Hurst.

Truett-Hurst winery purchases the bottles from UK-based company GreenBottle. The sturdy container is made from 80 percent used corrugated cardboard and is 85 percent lighter than a glass bottle, making it great for not just outdoor activities but also reducing shipping emissions. As reported by Truett-Hurst, one cross-country truck of Paper Boy wine saves 61 gallons of diesel fuel.

There are no other companies using this technology anywhere in the world for wine, points out Jim Kopp, Truett-Hurst’s vice president of marketing and sales. “It’s been used for milk bottles in Europe and for detergent bottles in the US, but never for wine.”

The bottles aren’t the only way that Truett-Hurst strives to protect the planet. All of its Healdsburg, California, wineries are run organically. “We are believers in biodynamic principles for viticulture and are working with our vineyards and the growers we contract with to achieve that form of farming, but it takes time to get vineyards to the point that their ecology is self-sustaining,” Kopp explains.

According to Kopp, the new packaging doesn’t alter the taste of the wine. “As the wine is poured from the bottle, the plastic bladder inside collapses around the wine; whereas with most bottles the wine poured out is replaced by air, putting the remaining wine in contact with the air.” The result is that with this technology the wine stays fresher longer. But how the wine will age remains to be seen. “We have done testing that indicates that the wine will last at least a year in the bottle without any effect, but we really don’t know yet; the wines have only been in the bottle for five months or so.”

Given the debate that ensued, and still continues, about replacing corks with screw tops, this technology is certainly not going to replace glass anytime soon. But the cardboard bottle could be ideal for hikes, picnics, sports events and outdoor concerts. “We hope that it becomes more broadly adopted in order that we can make an impact on the carbon footprint that the industry now has through shipping expenses and the difficulties of recycling,” Kopp says.

Currently Paper Boy is available at Safeway grocery stores across the country.

To learn more about Paper Boy, visit www.paperboywines.com; to learn more about Truett-Hurst, visit www.truetthurst.com