The Associated Press reports on a number of recent efforts by vintners to lighten their bottles in order to reduce shipping costs and lessen the environmental impact of wine distribution.
California's Fetzer Vineyards, for example, is switching to a lighter-weight glass that makes bottles approximately 14 percent lighter -- a savings of 2,200 tons of glass annually. Most of the bottles lose the "punt" -- the indentation usually found on the bottom of a wine bottle.
Despite the economic and environmental benefits of lighter packaging, there remains some resistance to the notion of leaving heavy bottles behind. "If you've got a handmade boutique product, you have to have the right frame for it," winemaker John Bell tells the AP. "Would you want to see a picture hanging on your wall with a cheap black, wood frame? Not if it's a Matisse."