Melbourne-based wine-on-tap store's sustainable idea

Wednesday, 16 December, 2020

Melbourne-based wine-on-tap store's sustainable idea

A Melbourne-based wine store recently launched with a sustainable point of difference, opting for premium wine-on-tap options instead of single-use bottles.

Glou, the latest venture by experienced entrepreneurs Rahel Goldmann and Ron Davis, came to fruition after the pair saw a disconnect between sustainable practices and the production and consumption of wine in Australia. 

Goldmann said that in an era where there is a strong community of grape growers and winemakers pushing to produce quality wines in the least environmentally destructive way possible, the disconnect is realised when the wine goes to market.

“It finds itself in single-use glass, under single-use closures, and wrapped up in single-use labels. As much as these things can go into our recycling bins, unfortunately in Australia that system is just not where it needs to be,” Goldmann said.

Glou’s reusable bottles.

While wine on tap may not be anything new, what sets Glou apart is the commitment to the idea. Goldmann and Davis work directly with winemakers to take wine straight from the barrel into Key Kegs created by One Circle in the Netherlands, which is then poured by tap into reusable bottles when sold. Bottles are available in three sizes: 500, 1000 or 2000 mL growlers.

Customers are invited to bring their bottles back into the store to be refilled, or alternatively are provided with a rebate if they wish to return them. Not only does this avoid the need for single-use bottles and plastic labels — a huge problem in the wine industry — the move also reduces Glou’s carbon footprint by halving the weight of wines being transported.

The pair noted however that while the product is sustainable, the benefits may not be fully realised if they are not accessible to a broad demographic.

Glou founders Rahel Goldmann and Ron Davis.

Placed between the markets of retail and hospitality, Glou’s approach to kegged wine has allowed the team to bring quality products to market at a cheaper price point, bringing down the end cost to consumers by 30%.

Glou also carefully selected Australian wine producers who emphasise minimal intervention and sustainable winemaking.

Some of the producers include boutique NSW winery Ari’s Natural Wine Company, the Barossa Valley’s Rasa Wines and Adelaide’s Charlotte Dalton.

Victorian winemakers are well represented too, with Dirty Black Denim, Phil Lobley, Ben Haines and Noisy Ritual on the menu.

Goldmann said the pair, who are motivated by their philosophy and promotion of greater transparency and sustainability practices in the industry, encourage wine-lovers to visit the dispensary in Collingwood.

“Our tasting room is about community, and the more we communicate as a community, the stronger we become.”

Images supplied by Glou. 

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