Domaine de la Patience's Côtes du Rhône Rosé bag-in-box may be the most eco-friendly wine out there.
From natural wine importers Jenny & François, the From the Tank wines are the brain child of François Ecot and Denis Deschamps of famed Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues, a unique co-op winery in southern France, near Avignon, that practices natural wine making. Where most co-ops focus on quantity at any cost, Deschamps and his grower, Michael Trebillon, raise the grapes using sustainable farming methods, hand harvest teh fruit and make the wine with no external yeasts, no filtering, no fining and no enzymes. What results is not just a delicious and friendly wine, but one without pretense (3L in a box) and some would argue, without the hangover (no additives). Unless, perhaps, you insist on finishing the box in one sitting, or stumbling.
The boxes are lighter than bottles to ship, requiring less fossil fuel consumption. The cardboard box is recyclable, saving landfill space, and the entire packaging is more fuel efficient to produce than traditional bottles.
From the Tank is a collective venture for the modern conscience. Cooperative wineries in Europe became common in the 1930's and allowed wine growers with small plots of land to sell their grapes and bring their wine to market by sharing production costs, and in many cases, with the aid of Government subsidies. Today, in countries where the cost of wine is low, like France and Italy, the co-op has too often become price and quantity conscious. Then there's From the Tank, which is more a collaboration than an old-school cooperative. Integrity of the wine is foremost.
The rosé is dry with subtle fruit and acidity, all well balanced in an easy drinking, food friendly style. Made from 50% Cinsault, 30% Grenache and 20% Syrah, a single box will last me at least two weeks, depending on how many friends come by for dinner. Everyone who's tasted it, loves it. The bag allows the wine to remain fresh for up to a month. A bottle left open, even in the fridge, will become vinegar in that time.
Unfortunately, Jenny & François are not represented in Alabama (yet) and so I can't buy this wine locally. But, my favorite Nashville shop, Woodland Wine Merchant carries it. They also published a great interview with Alice Feiring, mistress of natural wine and author of The Battle for Wine and Love and Naked Wine, on their blog last April. Read it here to learn more about natural wine while I go look for From the Tank Red and White.