when in Rome wine

England has many organic vineyards so it’s good to start here, for low carbon footprint. Choosing organic tends to be more likely that wines are also not filtered with bone char or fish bladder either. Wild Steps and When in Rome produce good sustainable canned wines.

Even organic wine has natural sulphites, but is less likely to give you hangover. Although glass bottles are easily recycled (blue bottles can go in green glass bins), choosing wines in cans means less energy to produce and less weight to transport. Wine corks are better than plastic (cork is made by stripping bark, so no trees are cut down). And keeping cork forests income-producing helps stop them being knocked down to build factories. A new idea to reinvent packaging is Frugal Bottle, made from recycled paperboard, five times lighter than glass with a six-times lighter carbon footprint.

Vinca wines

Vinca Wine offers 3 wines (white, rosé or red) in cans made from 73% recycled aluminium (water-based resin linings means the taste is not affects, and cans chill faster than glass). Great if you live or drink alone, as you won’t ‘finish off the bottle’ in a couple of days, to avoid waste! Shipping from Sicily is carbon-offset.

wine that's fruit

Wine That’s Fruit is a small company that began in the founder’s garden, and offers wines in cans that have a quarter of the carbon footprint of a glass wine bottle. Choose from:

  1. Strawberry, raspberry & blackcurrant (all from local fruits)
  2. Apple (from dessert apples picked in Herefordshire & Kent)
  3. Whitecurrant is one of their favourites!

DEFY Wine offers single-grape organic Italian wine, and also offers kegs of the 3 still wines, which take up less space (one keg holds 240 glasses of wine). In red, white or rose plus a semi-sparkling white frizzante and orange wine. No flowery descriptions (a spring day, summer days or rose petals). Just good organic wine!

The Uncommon produces sparkling wines from vineyards within 50 miles of London. Packed in beautifully illustrated easy-to-recycle cans, choose from bubble white or rose, or ready-made white, wine and rose spritzers.

Nania’s Vineyard offers canned wines (unfiltered) that takes inspiration from the founder’s Persian-Indian grandfather. This vineyard is on a Bristol allotment, cutting taken from an inherited grapevine, a bit like ‘rewilded wines’.

The Badger is made grapes in Somerset, fermented naturally with wild yeasts and left to develop for a year. Serve the summer fruit red, slightly chilled.

The Fox are made with Bacchus grapes grown in the Malvern Hills, fermented naturally with wild yeasts, for an orange amber wine with fruit notes. Again serve slightly chilled for maximum enjoyment.

where to find sustainable vegan wines

Amie Wine (London) was dreamed up during lockdown. Made from French Grenache, this crisp fresh wine has red berry and cherry blossom flavours. £1 per order is donated to bring clean safe drinking water to people who need it.

Sea Change Albatross sparkling wine (no alcohol) has hints of elderflower, crisp apple and summer mint (27 calories per 100ml serve). All 22 species of albatross are at risk of extinction. The company has removed plastic wrap around the cork and highlights species at risk on their labels (partly made from grape waste). Nearly all wines are vegan (use the filter).

Davenport Vineyards in Sussex offers a wonderful sparkling wine that blends various grapes for a vegan-friendly tipple.

Wild Thing is an organic vegan Prosecco, with profits helping Born Free charity. The flip-bottle can be reseaed, notes of pear, white peach and spring flowers.

make your own vegan wine!

wild winemaking

Wild Wine Making is a fun colourful book by a man who has been making wine from foraged or store-bought fruits and vegetables for over 30 years. Focusing on small batches that need minimal equipment and readily-available fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, learn to make sweet potato sake, plum champagne, rhubarb wine and even dark chocolate peach or banana wine!

the organic vineyards of England

It’s perfectly possible to grow grapes for wine in England, and there are good organic vineyards. This book shows you the best grapes to grow in cooler climates, and this book shows how to use biodynamic techniques to ‘grow wine’. Learn more on pet-safe gardening, if animals are nearby.

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard (the oldest in England) is set 22 acres, and grows biodynamic red, white and rose wines. Everything in the cafe is sourced within 30 minutes, and the building is made with reclaimed materials, and heated with a ground source heat pump. It even harvests grey water from the roof to water the plants and flush the loo! The wine bottles use natural cork (no trees cut down) with no extra plastic wrap or unnecessary wax.

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