New Soalheiro bottle produced by Verallia Portugal - Reducing the environmental footprint
Soalheiro has just launched a new sustainable and personalized bottle model and brought its production in Verallia Portugal. The new bottle, the redesigned boxes and the green roof of the new winery represent a significant reduction in the environmental footprint.
The quality and consistency of our wines have always been a consequence of principles that we don't want to change, but that we need to be always reinventing so that they don't get lost.
When our parents, with the help of our grandparents, planted the first vineyard, we were very small. We grew up hearing that we had to cherish the land and the vines so that they would always give us the best grapes.
A few years later, the garage stopped housing our red Ford Escort and the first labels with the name Soalheiro appeared.
From the moment we started adding to our own, the grapes from other families and friends in the neighbourhood, our parents always showed us, without having to put it into words, that we had to respect as much as possible the work of these winegrowers and all that the vines gave us. From that time on, our great concern for nature and for the people who work it, that is, for what we like to call: Terroir.
The recent focus on the production of the new bottle in Verallia Portugal has reduced CO2 emissions in transport by 8.5 times - until now, the bottles were produced in the centre of Europe. To make this change possible, we invested in a customised model and in an eco-efficient design that enabled a 19% reduction in CO2 emissions in the manufacture of this bottle. In addition, this bottle also presents several improvements: it is more practical to store in the fridge or on a shelf, thinking of family homes, restaurants and wine shops; it is easier to make the precise and elegant cut of the capsule due to the double marisa, thinking not only of the sommeliers, but also of the new wine lovers and, finally, it has the word Soalheiro engraved on the glass, a small detail that means a kind of signature of the whole team and of all the winegrowers who contribute to write our history and whose effort we want to see recognized in each of our new bottles.
Our boxes have also been customised, now consuming 39% less cardboard in each package, and a reduction in the ecological footprint associated with transport has been achieved. The cardboard now comes from Sustainable Forests (FSC certified) and the functionality of the box has highlighted one of the qualities that we consider most striking in our wines, namely its versatility: On the one hand, its aromatic freshness that reveals when consumed young. On the other hand, its great capacity for aging, which constantly surprises us, when it is developed in bottle.
While designing the prototype of the new box, we decided that the box should meet this versatility of our wine, i.e.: after being opened by the prick, the box can be kept upright, by those who want to drink the wine while still young, or it can be kept lying down, an ideal position for those who want to keep the wine and allow it to evolve in the bottle in the best possible way.
These projects were developed by the Soalheiro Research Centre, which emerged after this winery was the first in Portugal, in the year 2019, to have an I&D and Innovation certification. The company had previously obtained the environmental certification for all its activity and, since 2006, it has had the organic certification of all the vineyards on the estate. All these certifications are, for us, an opportunity for continuous improvement and have never been a limitation of anything. The organic certification of the vineyards has allowed an increase in the biodiversity of the plots and has allowed the development of wines such as Nature or Terramatter which are already iconic products from the Soalheiro brand. Environmental certification reflects the development of a collective awareness within the company which, in 2020, provided a 10% reduction in cardboard and plastic waste. Thinking about environmental efficiency has allowed us to reinvent the company, reinforcing core values for Soalheiro such as consistency and quality.
In April this year, we announced our partnership with The Porto Protocol, foundation with a commitment to mitigate climate change, for the development of a green roof to strive for modernization of the winery which, in addition to integrating it more effectively into the surrounding landscape, it will bring an estimated energy saving of 26% per year.