Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chateau de Pena Cuvee de Pena 2003 3 Liter Box

OK, since I recently posted about the Chateau de Pena Cuvee de Pena, I guess I should add it to my list of bag-in-box wines. (Reposting today with additional reviews):

Chateau de Pena Cuvee de Pena 2003
From Chateau de Pena
France, Languedoc-Roussillon
3 liter box, vintage dated
Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan
Wine Spectator 87, Wine Advocate 86
About $18 - $25

The Wine Spectator: Ripe, dark fruit flavors dominate this medium- to full-bodied red, with lovely chocolate pudding notes and smoky elements on the finish. Drink now through 2007. 20,000 cases made. Score: 87. —Kim Marcus, August 31, 2005.

The Wine Advocate: Available in a 3-liter bag-in-a-box, the 2003 Cuvee de Pena reveals plum and blackberry aromas. Light to medium-bodied and silky-textured, this excellent value (3 liters for $20 comes out to $5 a bottle!) displays spicy dark fruits intermingled with hints of cedar in its expressive character. Drink it over the next year. Score: 86. —Pierre Rovani, June 2005.

Chateau de Pena Cuvee de Pena 2003 - Market Fine Wine and Spirits - Wine and Spirit Retailer

Reviews in the News

Craig LaBan, December 6, 2006, Philadelphia Inquirer (Rated "Worthy House Wine," top rating of four levels)
My personal favorite was the Cuvee de Peña, a rustic, grenache-based table wine from southern France that tasted just as it does in the bottle - with bright red berries, balanced tannins, and a lingering acidity.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/06/2006 | Wine in a box: A taste test

Reviews on the Web

Nicole Goskel, AOL
Chateau de pena Cuvee de Pena Vin de Pays - 2004 (France)
Verdict: Our favorite of the red wines (tie)
Tasting notes: Spicy, hint of blackberries, complex

Best Boxed Wines: Think Outside the Wine Box - AOL Food

Reviews in Blogs

Bille, March 14, 2007, Wine for Newbies blog
Cuvee de Peña comes from France’s Rhône region, and is a blend of various Rhône varietals. It has a very nice color, moderate to powerful aromas that are pleasant but not complex, and a nice balance of flavors, alcohol, tannins, etc. It has a longer finish, but still somewhat short. I would rate this wine at 82/100.

Wine Blogging Wednesday–Box Wines at Podcast: Wine for Newbies

Lyza, September 26, 2006, Lyza blog
the Cuvee de Pena box David and I scored a month or two ago at New Seasons--it's probably the best box wine I've ever had.

Lyza.: Wine: "You Look Like my Mommy After Her Box of Wine"

Wine: Best Box So Far? 2003 Cuvee de Pena (Vin de Pays Pyrenées Orientales) Tastes like this: old men in South France sitting around cafe table outside in a dusty village drinking this wine out of tumblers after having a long day hunting rabbits. This is a man's wine and I like it. Sultry animal darkness, bramble-patch murky jam slippery and easy. This could be the most respectable box wine I've ever had. 55% Grenache, 33% Syrah and 11% Carignan--that Carignan is in there, all right, smacking of game meats. Yeehah, so drink it with gamy meats. Or just drink it. Really. It's tasty!

Lyza.: Wine: Best Box So Far?

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AOL weighs in on boxed wines

From AOL, a nice list of tasting notes on boxed wines, some Tetra Pak, some bag-in-box.

Think Outside the (Wine) Box
Nicole Goksel, AOL

Myths, Truths & Shopping Suggestions

Boxed wines of the past had a deservedly bad rap, but new packaging techniques have enticed makers of excellent vino to get juiced about wine boxes. We sipped and swirled over a dozen of 'em, so keep clicking to get our top picks (and a list of ones to skip) and one heck of a lot of reasons why we think great boxed wine is the wave of the future.

Delicato Bota Box Chardonnay - 2005 (California)
Verdict: We liked it.
Tasting notes: Great floral smell, easy-drinking, a little bit dry
Tip: Once bottled wine has been opened, it's got a 4 day shelf life before it starts to really oxidize and turn. Because the majority of boxed wines are built with a bag-in-box system that doesn't allow air in, it'll stay fresh for at least 4 weeks.

Three Thieves Bandit Pinot Grigio - 2004 (California)
Verdict: Our favorite of the white wines
Tasting notes: Light, herbal, kiwi
Tip: Because boxed wine stays fresh for a significant amount of time, it's easy to keep a box on hand in the cupboard or fridge so you can pour a single glass whenever you'd like -- without having to go to the fuss of opening a new bottle or worrying about waste. It's perfect for those drinking a glass a day for a healthy heart.

Washington Hills Columbia Valley Chardonnay - 2004 (Washington State)
Verdict: We loved it.
Tasting notes: Citrusy, grassy, fresh, slightly chalky
Tip: While a few wines come in 1 or 5 liter boxes, the box you'll usually find on the shelves is the "3 liter cask," which holds the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine.

Banrock Station Chardonnay - 2006 (South Eastern Australia)
Verdict: We loved it.
Tasting notes: Peachy, vanilla, not too oaky
Tip: The 3-liter boxes we sampled cost between $11.99 and $29.99, with the average being around $16.99. While the high end of that range might be a bit more than you might wish to spend on an everyday bottle, remember -- you're actually getting 4 bottles worth. Even at $7.50 a bottle, that's still a steal.

Three Thieves Bandit Cabernet Sauvignon - 2002 (California)
Verdict: Our favorite of the red wines (tie)
Tasting notes: Buttery, blackberries, also comes in a 4-pack of single-serving boxes
Tip: Even if you're short a home wine rack, there's no need to worry, 'cause the flat box packaging makes it as easy to store as cereal.

Cinta Venezie Pinot Noir - Non-Vintage (Italy)
Verdict: We liked it
Tasting notes: A bit astringent, complex
Tip: Not so crafty with a corkscrew? No worries, 'cause the tab or cap is built right in-- eliminating the risk of crumbled cork and the resulting air exposure which taints the taste. Taps and screwcaps might have seemed tacky once upon a time, but more and more great winemakers are sealing the deal.

Chateau de pena Cuvee de Pena Vin de Pays - 2004 (France)
Verdict: Our favorite of the red wines (tie)
Tasting notes: Spicy, hint of blackberries, complex
Tip: If your friends seem resistant to the idea of boxed wine, try pouring in another room, and bringing in the glasses on a tray. Only after they've ooh-ed and ahh-ed, let 'em in on what it is they've been drinking. Great wines can come in square packages.

French Rabbit Merlot - 2004 (France)
Verdict: We liked it
Tasting notes: Cherries, spicy chocolate
Tip: Because boxed wine has been kept under such tight wraps, aerobically speaking, make sure to give it a big ol' swirl in the glass, let it sit for a minute to fully open up and aerate, or dig out that decanter from the back of the cabinet.

Thirsty Lizard Shiraz - 2005 (South Eastern Australia)
Verdict: We liked it very much
Tasting Notes: Plummy, jammy, easy-drinking
Tip: While this might all seem like a packaging revolution, folks in Europe and Australia have known and enjoyed the benefits of boxed booze for a long time. It's the perfect no-fuss way to enjoy the sorts of wines that are best enjoyed while they're still young and fresh -- no wine cellar required.

VRAC Cotes du Rhone - 2006 (France)
Verdict: We liked it
Tasting Notes: Strawberries & raspberries, a little spicy
Tip: If you're a fan of camping, sailing, picnicking, tailgating or otherwise frolicking far from home, boxed wines are the ideal no-shatter, lighter-weight take-along -- and many of them even boast a built-in handle for easy toting.

More to Sip -- And Skip
Also Worth Sipping:
- Killer Juice Cabernet Sauvignon - 2003
- Dtour Côtes-du-Rhône - 2004
- Black Box Sonoma County Merlot - 2005
Definitely Skip:
- Franzia Old World Classics Burgundy (though admittedly not as awful as we remember)
- Hardy's Chardonnay - 2005
- Three Thieves Bandit White Zinfandel - 2005
- Peter Vella White Grenache
- Blue Nun Riesling (but not so bad for cooking)

Best Boxed Wines: Think Outside the Wine Box - AOL Food

Boxed Wines Market Growing

From Adams Market Research in October:

Boxed Wines Growing at Grocery and Liquor Stores Nationwide

NAPA, CA -- Boxed wines have been around for quite awhile. Indeed, millions of cases of wine packaged in 5-liter boxes are being sold each year under the Franzia (The Wine Group), Peter Vella (E&J Gallo) and Almaden (Canandaigua) labels. Some studies suggest that about 20% of all wine consumed in the U.S. is poured from wine-in-a-box. Recently, these popular 5-liter packages have been joined on the shelves by 3-liter boxes; however, these 3-liter boxes contain premium wine from wineries such as Sonoma Hill, Trinchero, Corbett Canyon, BRL Hardys and the latest, Delicato.

The quality of these wines refute the belief -- apocraphyl or not -- that bag-in-the-box wine is run-of-the-mill at best. Indeed, several reports have pointed out that good-quality wine has been available in boxed packages in Europe and Australia for several years now.

Though its look is hardly upscale, the proponents of boxed wine say it has several advantages over conventionally bottled wine, the most significant of which is boxed wine's ability to stay fresh for a much longer period of time after opening. The interior collapsible bag protects the wine from the harmful effects of air, which can oxidize the wine in an opened bottle after three or four days. In addition, the box itself keeps the harmful effects of light away from the wine. Thus, boxed wine producers say, their wines stay fresh for four to six weeks.

Convenience is another advantage, proponents of boxed wine say. For example, someone who might want to drink just one glass of wine might hesitate to open a bottle. Boxed wine allows that wine drinker to consume a single glass and then put away the wine for several days without fear of it going bad.

From a winery's point of view, shipping costs are greatly reduced because the boxes weigh less than the equivalent volume of glass bottles. And for consumers, the cost is very competitive compared to the price of an equivalent amount of premium wine in a bottle. For example, late last year Delicato Family Vineyards released three award-winning premium varietal wines in its 3-liter Bota Box, which boasts its own specially designed spigot and collapsible bag to prevent oxygen from reaching the wine. The 3-liter boxes of Delicato Shiraz, Merlot and Chardonnay all retail for about $18, which is equivalent to about $4.50 per 750 ml bottle.

Adams Market Research Alcohol Beverage Industry

Groovy or Grim?

From, the online Ottowa restaurant guide. The wines tasted were 1 liter packaging which indicates Tetra Pack, but some of these are also available in 3L bag in box:

Boxed Wine groovy or grim?

Ok, maybe it’s just because of fond memories, but I love the idea of boxed wine. My first wine experiences included boxed wine in Australia, where you could get pretty good quality vino in a box. It was so convenient that I brought it just about everywhere with me as I backpacked around the country.

When I returned to Canada after my Aussie travels, I was psyched to try out the local boxed wine. Unfortunately, what I had here was so disappointing; all I got out of it was four liters of cooking wine (I made a lot of mussels). So when Tetra Pak wines showed up on the market recently, I was skeptical. But as more and more selection flooded the stores, I started to get curious again – was this stuff any better than what I had tried a few years back?

Besides my soft spot for wine in a box, there are lots of other reasons why I think boxed wine is a great idea. First, as I mentioned before, it’s convenient. You don’t need a corkscrew and you don’t have to worry about glass bottles, which means it’s perfect for camping, the cottage, or other casual travels.

Then of course there are the environmental and economical considerations. Tetra Pak cartons are recyclable and are actually being recycled in most regions across Canada. In addition to their recyclability, wine cartons are a more environmentally-friendly packaging option than glass because they are based on source reduction, the first and most important component of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). A Tetra Pak carton weighs 40 grams. A glass bottle weighs at least 600 grams, or 15 times more. Even if you didn’t recycle any of your Tetra Pak cartons and recycled most of your glass wine bottles, the Tetra Pak format would still win out. And because they are so much lighter than glass, packaging wine in cartons reduces both fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, wine in a box creates less waste and less pollution than traditional glass bottles. (Source: Tetra Pak Canada Inc.)

So back to the quality – can you actually get any good tasting wine in a box? The statistics say yes. According to Tetra Pak Canada “The LCBO said Ontario consumers have purchased nearly one million liters of wine in Tetra Pak cartons in the past 10 months, and that U.S. figures show North American demand growing by 30 per cent per year.” Not only that, there are currently 30 wines in Tetra Pak cartons available at the LCBO and because of the demand, another 40 products are now in production.

So, I decided to put these statistics to the test and got a group of wine-loving friends together for a little boxed wine taste test. The results – not bad. Some we enjoyed, some not so much, but overall we agreed that for cottage and camping or for everyday, boxed wine is definitely an option. Will I throw my corkscrew away? Well, not just yet.

our favorite whites

Banrock Station Unwooded Chardonnay (Australia)
LCBO 668954 | $12.50 | 1 liter
Crisp and fruity, this wine is refreshing and food friendly with citrus and stone fruit flavors. This was our favorite wine of the whole tasting.

Three Thieves “Bandit” Pinot Grigio (California)
LCBO 614131 | $13.85 | 1 liter
Light, crisp, and simple, this wine is easy drinking. Nothing too complex going on, but enjoyable nonetheless.

our favorite reds

Banrock Station Shiraz (Australia)
LCBO 668962 | $13.80 | 1 liter
Coincidentally, this was one of my favorite boxed wines during my Australian travels. Classic berry fruit and black pepper, perfect for the bbq.

Red Lips Syrah (France)
LCBO 613968 | $12.85 | 1 liter
To quote my friend Angie “you could easily fall into a box of this” … it’s juicy and ripe with flavors of blackberry, cherry, plum, and vanilla, and a surprising hit of tannin. Ladies, enjoy this with your girlfriends sitting by the lake.

Le Petit Sommelier Shiraz/Grenache (France)
LCBO 619338 | $10.90 | 3 x 250 ml
I’m not sure which is better – the cute mini-carton packaging of this wine (each 250 ml carton gives 2 good sized glasses of wine) or the wine itself – the peppery spice of Shiraz, the fresh, juicy berry flavor of Grenache, and super food-friendly too.

Boxed Wine - Find an Ottawa Restaurant at

Evolution of the Wine Box

From the Times Herald-Record of the Huson Valley, New York:

Tastings: the evolution of the wine box
August 26, 2007

Summer may be slipping away, but that doesn't mean that the party will be ending any time soon.

There are plenty of Labor Day barbecues, tailgating picnics and game nights ahead.

Beer, of course, is often the beverage of choice at these gatherings. But a new generation of boxed wines now rivals beer's portability and affordability, making it a good choice for parties.

But we're not talking about that big crate of chablis your parents used to keep in the fridge. These wines are getting better, and there's more to choose from.

The most common size of wine in a box is 5 liters — that's almost seven regular bottles of wine — but 1- and 3-liter "casks" have also become popular. And many promise to keep well for weeks after opening.

The big player in the field is the Wine Group, based in San Francisco, which is the world's third-biggest wine company by volume thanks to its ubiquitous Franzia boxed wines.

"Denying the quality of some box wines will soon be like denying the quality of screw caps," says Carl Zatz, owner of Enthusiastic Spirits and Wine Shop. "They're coming and they'll be here to stay."

His shop features two "great" boxed wines, which he notes are "both perfect for picnics or the chaos of a big family barbecue."

Zatz's first suggestion is Wooloomooloo Red Blend from South Eastern Australia (1 liter/$8.99). "It's a bold blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and grenache. It's juicy and sappy and great with grilling."

He also really likes the company's "quaffable" chardonnay.

Zatz is also recommending wines from Trove in California, which is available bottled or in 3-liter boxes ($19.99).

"The 2004 cabernet sauvignon is full-bodied, almost rustic with lots of fruit," Zatz says. "(And) the 2005 chardonnay is medium-bodied with a little bit of oak. It's a good all-purpose wine that will last in your fridge for weeks. We had these two out for tastings for nearly a month. They stayed fresh and tasty to the end."

Even Carlo Rossi, long available in jugs, is being offered in a 5-liter box.

Available nationwide beginning Sept. 1, four varietals — chardonnay, white zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon — will retail at about $13.99.

"The easy-pour spout makes for effortless entertaining and quick refills," says spokeswoman Christine Reardon.

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, wine critics for The Wall Street Journal, recently tasted the 3-liter boxes from the Wine Group's FishEye brand. Wine Group expects to sell about a million 9-liter cases of FishEye this year, including both boxes and bottles. According to ACNielsen, sales of premium 3-liter box wines rose 43.4 percent by volume for the 52-week period ending April 7.

Gaiter and Brecher decided to see how the FishEye Shiraz would hold up after opening and bought seven boxes (about $16). They opened one box every week for six weeks and emptied about a sixth of the contents. Then they tasted them all against a newly opened box. (While FishEye doesn't say the boxes need to be refrigerated, they did because they say simple wines, even the shiraz, are better with a chill.) When it was first opened, they found the shiraz to be tasty — "soft and pleasant, with integrated acidity and nice fruit." Then they put all the boxes on a table and started tasting.

"None of them was obviously oxidized," they found. "The difference among them was that a couple tasted vibrant and alive — these were wines we would take to a picnic ourselves — while others had the same basic tastes, but they'd lost life. It turned out that our favorite had been opened in week No. 4 and our second favorite had been the very first cask we opened. Our third favorite was the freshest box. Once again, it appeared that the boxes from the fifth and sixth weeks — those open for one week and two weeks — were the most problematic." So, the bottom line: The wine really does keep for six weeks.

It has its ups and downs in your refrigerator, but it will keep fine. That said, the FishEye Shiraz, at the equivalent of $4 a bottle, is a perfectly nice wine for a party.

The Wall Street Journal contributed to this report

Each week, we ask wine and spirits professionals for advice. You don't need to own a shop to join the conversation. Wine and liquor lovers are welcome. Please e-mail Lisa Ramirez at

Tastings: The evolution of the wine box - - The Times Herald Record

Low-end Chards Duke it Out

I LOVE this! A low-end Chard match-up. Cut to the chase:
  1. Peter Vella NV
  2. Trove 2005
  3. Charles Shaw 2006
  4. Franzia NV
My husband and I drank up a case of the now famous 2005 Two-Buck Chuck Chard and enjoyed it very much. Recently a friend bought a case and when we shared some with him we were disappointed. Turned out it was the '06, and it's true, it just doesn't measure up to the bar set by the '05 vintage.

I always have thought the Peter Vella Chard(a Gallo product) to be far better than the ubiquitous Franzia Chard. I'm sorry that Almaden boxed Chard was not included in this tasting.

Boxing Match
Wherein Mr. Two-Buck Chuck jabs at his family legacy and greedy bastards are left out cold.

By Blair Campbell
September 5, 2007

Fred Franzia was born into a winemaking family, related by marriage to the Gallos, and a lifelong friend to the Mondavis. He probably could have had his choice of jobs in an industry that lionizes producers of small-distribution, high-priced "cult" wines. Instead, he started Bronco Wine Company and promptly made a mint buying decent-quality surplus wine from producers and then selling it under his own label for cheap. The patron saint of Wineaux everywhere, Franzia has publicly denounced high-end wine retailers as "greedy bastards."

In some ways, his story hinges on the story of Chardonnay. The 1980s were the varietal's Golden Age — a time when the heavily oaked California version became a must-drink symbol of urban sophistication. But that led to widespread overplanting, and Bronco's chief took advantage of the glut. Fast-forward two decades, to when the 2005 vintage of Bronco's $2 Charles Shaw was judged best Chardonnay in the state at the California State Fair, besting many cult wines Franzia would likely disparage.

To bring "Two-Buck Chuck" back to its populist roots, we thought we'd put it to the test against a wine named Franzia. That'd be Franzia Vintner Select Chardonnay ($9.98 for five liters), a boxed wine to which Franzia has no connection due to the sale of his family's business in the '70s. Two other boxed wines nicely rounded out our blind tasting.

In a big upset, the winner was Peter Vella Family Reserve nonvintage Chardonnay ($11.99 for a five-liter box, equivalent to about $1.80 a bottle). This was the favorite of our Token Winemaker, who found it classically Chardlike, full and citrusy. Indie Editor liked it too, calling it drinkable and smooth. Another returning taster, Conscious Nonbeliever, imagined it with fish or spicy fowl.

Coming in a distant second was my favorite, the 2005 Trove California Chardonnay ($15.99 for three liters, or roughly $4 a bottle). I loved the mix of butter, caramel, and lemon in the aroma and taste, as well as its pleasantly bitter aftertaste, and imagined drinking it on its own or with grilled fish. Not everyone was a fan — one taster called it "the PBR of white wine."

A notch behind the Trove was the 2006 Charles Shaw ($1.99). I found the Chuck totally lacking in aroma, with no discernible flaws but nothing to recommend it either. Indie Editor called it a "stereotypical cheap Cali Chardonnay," and only Arkie Editor said she would buy it again.

Still, we saved the real venom for the Franzia Vintner Select Chardonnay. "Wine-flavored water," groused our gracious host. He was seconded by our Token Winemaker and Conscious Nonbeliever, who chimed in with "acid lemon water" and "pee."

Overall, not a great day to be named Franzia — but an even worse one to be a greedy bastard.

East Bay Express | Restaurants | Boxing Match

The New Oh-Sevens

From the Chicago Daily Herald:

Boxed wine stepping up a notch with '07 varieties
Mary Ross

Don't turn up your nose at a new generation of boxed wines. The best are well-made, tasty and perfectly suited to carefree occasions, especially at picnics and pools where glass bottles are often verboten.

I'd choose a carton of French Rabbit, for instance, over many bottled wines any day. French Rabbit Chardonnay is crisp and clean; the pinot noir has bright berry flavors and silky texture; cabernet sauvignon offers savory plum, berry and cherry flavors and firm tannin. Unencumbered by excess oak and alcohol, all acquaint the drinker with flavors of their south-of-France growing region.

As a bonus, the Tetra Prism carton has an easy-to-open twist cap, weighs much less than a standard bottle and reduces packaging waste by 90 percent. This "savor the wine and save the planet" stance is nothing new for French Rabbit importers, the Boisset family, who have married fine winemaking with social causes for decades.

A French Rabbit liter costs about $9.99. French Rabbit Petit, with four 250 ml cartons retailing for about $10.99, will debut this holiday season.

International travelers will recognize the Tetra Prism as a popular container for beverages around the world, but most of us used a lunch ticket -- not a passport -- to experience another boxed-wine technology.

"Bag-in-box," pioneered by Chicago-based Scholle Corp. has provided sanitary, air-tight containers for milk and juice served from cafeteria dispensers to countless school kids since 1955. The savings over glass bottles in packaging and transportation originally attracted bulk wine producers with generic "California Chablis"-type labels. Recently, producers began bagging premium varieties, such as pinot grigio and chardonnay. In 2004, three-liter bag-in-box wines became the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. wine industry, according to ACNielsen data.

Now, 1.5-liter boxes, oblongs and cubes (equivalent to two standard bottles) are the fashion. Wine Cube, produced by Napa Valley's Trinchero family, offers varietal whites (including a full-bodied chardonnay and an award-winning pinot grigio with sweet pear and peach flavors), and reds (a velvety merlot, an oak-aged cabernet and a spicy cab-shiraz blend). They're sold exclusively at Target for $9.99; three-liter boxes are $15.99.

Washington State's Powers Winery has boxed up a single-vineyard, barrel-aged cabernet sporting rich fruit accented by wood spice (thee liters, about $20), along with their organic and sulfite-free Badger Mountain "Pure Red" and "Pure White" (three liters, about $12.99.)

Bag-in-box has an advantage over other alternative wine packages. While twist-caps on Tetra Prism packages are convenient, once they're open, they're open. Bag-in-box, with its air-tight spigot, is never really opened at all. Wine lovers can pour a little or a lot, leaving the balance undamaged by oxygen.

As boxed wine continues its high-quality trend, watch for it to move into the super-premium category, with wine lovers collecting boxes for at-home wine bars.

For now, while you needn't use fine crystal or bury your nose deep in your stadium glass, you can expect pleasing, convenient refreshment in the new generation of boxed wines.

Daily Herald | Boxed wine stepping up a notch with '07 varieties

The Brown Box is Green

We've noticed the big change to Delicato's Bota Box wine packaging. Of course when one sees this kind of package (kraft paper, no coating, no bright colors), one wonders whether the "environmentally friendly" concept is more an impression than a reality. Apparently in this case the environmental friendliness of the printing process is a reality.
One of the business segments Proactive Packaging hoped to capture with the opening of its Stockton, CA, plant was the agriculture market due to its proximity to produce-growing regions and Napa Valley winemakers. One such winemaker, DFV Wines of Napa, CA, took notice. DFV Wines ( is in the midst of re-launching its Botabox wine as its own brand and was in need of a boxmaker to create an environmentally-friendly package with vivid graphics. John Garaventa, Botabox brand manager, wanted to print directly on kraft and have the graphics speak for each of the wines. The box would hold 3 liters of premium wine. After being told by numerous other printers that they could not print directly on kraft, DFV approached Proactive for test runs and liked what they saw. Not only was Proactive able to hold the graphics in register on kraft, Garaventa also learned that the way it was printed, with the VSOP press and EB curing, was environmentally-friendly as well. “We were really excited when we found out that the press is environmentally-friendly,” he says. “It was the icing on the cake. This (new) box is better all the way around (in comparison to the previous Botabox design).”

Beyond the brown box - 9/1/2007 - Converting Magazine

From PR Newswire:
NAPA, Calif., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- In a response to a growing consumer demand for Eco-friendly products, DFV Wines announced today that their successful Bota Box wines have received an extreme green makeover with a new look. The award winning Bota Box is a 3 liter wine in a box with a new package that is more environmentally-friendly from a container that is made with 95% post consumer fiber and the box is recyclable. The print on the package is now done on unbleached Kraft paper and the ink used is water based versus petroleum based and the paper layers are held together with cornstarch instead of glue.

As a leader in the fastest growing category in the wine industry, Bota Box is vintage dated and is available in the five popular varietal types: Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio for the white wine offerings; Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon for the red wine selections. Bota Box is available nationally and the suggested retail price is under $20 in most markets. The Bota Box borrows its name from bota bag, the old world custom of transporting a beverage in a pouch usually made from an animal skin which became quite popular in the '60s and '70s to concert goers, hiking enthusiasts, campers, and other outdoor recreations.

"DFV Wines are committed to the consumer. Bota Box is one of the ways to respond to wine drinkers that choose an eco-friendly package that is convenient as well," says Chris Indelicato, CEO - President. "Our family winery is dedicated to sustainable farming, smart winemaking, and responsible marketing and we believe that our new Bota Box is the right package at the right time."

DFV Wines has farmed premium vineyards in California and produced wine for over 80 years. It continues to be family owned and operated by the 2nd and 3rd generation Indelicatos. DFV Wines include Bota Box, Clay Station, Delicato, Gnarly Head, Irony, Joe Blow, King Fish, Loredona, 337, Twisted, and Chateau Maris.

DFV Wines :: Bota Box Wine Goes Green