How Yellow+Blue Is Making a Difference in the Wine Business The Chester, Penn.-based wine company's early success shatters long-held industry standards. Plus, a look at other game-changers in the beverages industry.
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The process, usually: Make wine. Bottle the wine at the winery in, say, Italy or New Zealand. Ship the wine in a 40-pound package comprised of just 9 liters of liquid--about 18 pounds--and a whole lot of glass.
"It's such an antiquated and old-world model, and I was just looking for maybe--I don't know--a 21st-century solution," says Matthew Cain, founder and president of Chester Springs, Penn.-based Yellow+Blue Wines. While glass remains the gold standard for wine bound for a cellar, Cain says, most consumption in the U.S. takes place just hours after purchase, rather than weeks or years.
For quick-drinking wines, Cain broke the glass mold when he launched in 2008. He chose finished wines from organic wineries and, instead of bottling at the source, he shipped the adult juice to North America in insulated steel tanks. The cost to Y+B is about 40 percent more than using flexitanks (big plastic bags inside shipping containers), a common bulk shipping method. But maintaining the wine's temperature in transit ensures a quality product on delivery. And, Cain says, the environmental impact is substantially minimized: "We measured our carbon footprint, officially, and it's half of what it would be if we shipped the exact same wine from the exact same place in glass."
Once Y&B's organic wine arrives on North American soil, it's packaged in--wait for it--boxes.