When we think of the perpetrators of environmental sabotage, winemaking probably doesn’t come to mind. In fairness, wine making isn’t a highly polluting business compared to fast fashion or the construction industry. But that didn’t stop online wine merchant Laithwaites from partnering with an established winemaker with a goal to lighten the footprint of the W/O Frappato: Terre Siciliane IGT.
Like many companies, Laithwaites took a critical look at its carbon contribution. Running the numbers, they found that 68% of their carbon footprint came from transportation emissions and the production of the glass bottles the wine is stored in. It was a measurement significantly higher than that of growing the grapes (15%) and making the wine (17%). The company vowed to halve its carbon footprint by 2030. The result is the U.K.’s first 100% recycled glass wine bottle.
Laithwaites achieved the goal in partnership with winemaker Dino Tashcetti, who runs a co-operative winery. The resulting bottle is made from recycled materials, and, of course, is recyclable after use too. The look of the bottle is somewhat vintage, with slight variations between one bottle and another as a result of the production process. Specifically, the minimalist label was designed to make recycling easier.
The Frappato is even packaged without any foil or plastic. Instead, the cork is exposed rather than covered with unnecessary waste. The label is fully biodegradable too.
In fact, the name of the wine reflects this idea in the shorthand for “without” (W/O) proudly displayed on the label. The idea is the production of the wine and packaging honors the environment without the need for unnecessary raw materials.
“We happen to have found [packaging] that is also really beautiful. Because it essentially gives old glass a new life, every bottle is unique and a little ‘wild’ — with a slightly varied hue, little shimmers and even tiny bubbles,” said Michael Johnson, innovation director at Laithwaites.
On the other hand, the W/O Frappato wine is a Sicilian red that was also created with the “without” mindset. It’s an organic wine. Inasmuch, the grapes were grown without fertilizers, insecticides and other toxins.
“Third-generation winemaker Dino Taschetta named it W/O (without), because it’s crafted from the belief that you should be able to enjoy great wine knowing it’s been made as naturally and sustainably as possible. Or, as they like to say: 100% enjoyment, without compromise,” stated in a press release.
Frappato is a grape indigenous to Sicily and rarely seen in the U.S. The grapes for the Terre Siciliane IGT were grown in an organic and sustainably-managed vineyard. After consciously sourcing the grapes, Dino used them in a wine that meets vegan standards. Many people don’t realize wines are commonly filtered with the use of animal products in a process called fining. However, this Frappato goes without.
Review of W/O Frappato Terre Siciliane IGT wine
When a wine company offers to send me a sample, my hand is in the air with acceptance. Sometimes I just love my job. Look, someone’s gotta do it. And it’s even better when I deeply enjoy the product, which is the case with this delicious wine.
Delicious isn’t a term I typically use when describing wine. The joy of this bottle of Frappato, though, is that it’s tasty. It features bright notes of berry on both the front and backend, which equates to a mouthful of smooth drinkability. That doesn’t mean it lacks depth or complexity though. It has both, with a strikingly pleasant linger of tannins on the tongue.
Three of us sampled the bottle, all of which basically came to the same conclusions for the tasting notes. This is not a dry wine, but those tannins do linger. I place it in the mid-range for acidity. Although it’s not quite semi-sweet, the flood of red berries is reminiscent of old vine depth and sweetness without the jamminess. This Frappato toes the line between the lightness of a Pinot Noir and the gratifying ability of a big red.
The W/O Frappato is available for less than $20 on their website.
Images via Laithwaites and Dawn Hammon