A DIXIE family winery has launched a bottle recycling initiative to help mitigate the impacts of business operations on the environment.
Keayang Maar Vineyard at Dixie, between Terang and Timboon, has launched a wine club and bottle recycling program to reduce waste and increase efficiency in their small operation.
Vineyard owner Barry Wurlod said Victoria has a low rate of glass recycling, in addition transport and packaging are the major greenhouse gas emitters for most vineyards and wineries.
His family business is choosing to take ownership of their packaging beyond the farm gate with a new push to recycle their own bottles.
"We are trialling a plan to reduce our environmental footprint by inviting local customers, within a 75 kilometer radius of Dixie, to join our wine club online or visit us at our local market stalls," Mr Wurlod said.
"The process is simple when you subscribe to the wine club; receive wine, enjoy it, return bottles, repeat.
"Although we offset a lot of the carbon we emit through the vines, grass cover and the additional trees we've planted we see an opportunity to decrease waste and increase efficiency by creating the wine club and bottle recycling program for our local customers.
"There has been a lot of interest and support from the community as we trial this initiative in the lead up to Christmas."
"We hope that by making the recycling process simple and by working with our customers to meet their demand for quality, local wine that this program will become a key part of our business going forward".
When the bottles are returned to Keayang Maar they are thoroughly cleaned and sterilised, before being stored for 12 months. They are then cleaned and sterilised again before being reused to bottle the next vintage.
"Initially we will be reusing the returned wine bottles for our 2021 vintage red wines, made from our small batch estate fruit," Mr Wurlod said.
Customers are invited to return their empty Keayang Maar Vineyard bottles when they visit for tastings or at their stall at the Port Fairy farmers markets.
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