Canned Wines: Portable, Sustainable — and Catching On

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Canned wines are growing in popularity because they’re portable for taking along when enjoying the great outdoors, and sustainable. Courtesy of St. James Winery

Businesses are always looking to revitalize the experience for consumers.

For many wineries, that has led to the emergence of canned wine.

“We want to shake up people’s perception of what Missouri wine is and what it could be,” explains Lindsay Clausen, director of operations at KC Wineworks. Even before canning wines, Clausen’s vineyard was focused on bringing wine styles and flavors from the Pacific Northwest, such as Pinot Noir, to the Missouri market.

KC Wineworks was the first Missouri winery to can wine with its “Show Me Sangria” premiering in August of 2018. The winery uses natural, red fruit juices to give the white wine-based drink the coloring of a traditional Sangria. They also add a little carbonation to retain the classic experience of opening the can to a small fizz.

“We are a 100 percent grape to glass winery,” says Clausen.

KC Wineworks is producing all of its all-natural products themselves and selling them at their downtown Kansas City location.

“When we first released it, we had people that were just shocked that we were doing wine in a can,” says Clausen.

St. James Winery has also started canning wines. Partnering with Public House Brewing Company, its 100 percent fruit juice wines have been well-received, says Tricia LaRue, marketing director at St. James.

“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from social media,” she says.

The winery experimented with a few small batches last summer, with the official release to market on April 1 of this year.

“There are a lot of benefits to the can, specifically with the convenience factor,” says LaRue. “It’s really great for backyard barbecues, lakes, rivers, pools and similar environments. Plus, it’s easier to recycle.”

LaRue and Clausen agree that wine in cans is here to stay. Besides being convenient for transportability for recreation, it’s an example of sustainability.

“The only place in the universe that you can grow grapes is Earth,” Clausen jokes. “We want to make sure that we are very aware of the impact we have on this planet.”

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