Bottles of wine line the shelves of many restaurants, but Free Flow Wines is challenging this image by offering wine on tap to restaurants and bars. By serving wines drawn from re-usable, large capacity kegs restaurants can significantly reduce waste and support lower carbon emissions. Already, Pebble Beach Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Caesars Entertainment are utilizing the wine on tap idea provided by Free Flow Wines.
Free Flow Wines was founded in 2009. The company works with more than 350 small vineyards including Frog's Leap in Napa Valley, 10 Span Vineyards in Santa Barbara and Banfi's Aviatto in Alto Adige. They provide their client's wines to a variety of restaurants, premium hotels, sports and entertainment venues nationwide.
The kegs are constructed of wine-certified stainless steel parts and are 100 percent reusable. A special blend of inert gas (75 percent Nitrogen with 25 percent Carbon dioxide) preserves the wine by not allowing it to come into contact with Oxygen. This process is important to preserve the freshness of the wine for weeks after being tapped. Each keg's capacity is equivalent to 26 wine bottles that would have been sent to the landfill after being emptied. It is estimated that each keg will save 2,340 lbs. of trash from ending up in landfills over its lifetime.
Think about it. Wine in bottles must be labeled and corked, then packaged to be transported either directly to customers or to a distribution centers where they are sent out again. Once used, those bottles are transported again to landfills or recycling centers for processing. Wine on tap eliminates the need for the packaging and reduces transportation needs as there is less to ship and recycle, thus lowering the carbon footprint. In 2012, Free Flow Wines estimates they saved 347,254 bottles from the landfill and that equaled more than 260 tons of packaging.
“We are dedicated to removing the material waste that has been the dirty little secret of the wine industry since its inception,” said Jordan Kivelstadt, the Co-Founder and CEO of Free Flow Wines in a recent press release. “Over the 20-year life of a Free Flow keg we reduce the carbon footprint of the same amount of wine poured from bottles by 96%. In addition to our innovative water reclamation system that replaces over 1 million gallons of water each year, Free Flow Wines has removed material waste from U.S. landfills including 2 million bottles, or 4.5 million pounds tons of trash and we will remove 10 million bottles, or 7,500 tons of trash, by 2015.”
More than 350 premium wines are available on tap at over 2,000 restaurants, hotels, airports, and sports and entertainment venues nationwide. For more information about Free Flow Wines visit the company's website.