Roll Out the Barrel

DeLoach Vineyards brings its environmentally-friendly barrel receptacle to San Francisco.

San Francisco restaurant patrons can now get their glass of Pinot directly from a barrel at the bar. DeLoach Vineyards, in Sonoma County's Russian River Valley, rolled out its "Barrel to Barrel" by-the-glass wine program in the city last week.

The ten-liter barrels supply about 70 glass pours each (depending on the pour size) and cost the restaurant the equivalent of about $15 per 750-ml. bottle, according to Jean-Charles Boisset, president of Boisset Family Estates and DeLoach. He partnered with San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel to introduce the concept in the city. "We hope to have 450 [other] restaurants around the country by the end of August," Boisset predicted, with a New York rollout coming shortly.

The oak barrels are attractive, but Boisset says he also came up with the idea for its environmental usefulness. With the barrels reusable, all a restaurateur has to do is reorder the eco-friendly plastic bag containing the wine. "This has the smallest carbon footprint ever for the restaurant world," Boisset says, pointing out that the bag's weight is "a 99% reduction from a case of wine."

Several tiers of DeLoach Pinot Noir will be available: California, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley and single-vineyard bottlings. The winery is not planning on including additional varieties in the barrel program at this time.

Last year Boisset introduced its French Rabbit wines packaged in Tetra Pak cartons as well as lightweight, recyclable California wines in PET plastic bottles. These advances contributed to Boisset receiving Wine Enthusiast's "Innovator of the Year" award at the magazine's Wine Star Awards event.










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