Sustainable Wine Review: Wines: A New Breed of Winery

A new winery called Wines hit the U.S a few months ago. is noteworthy on several fronts.  Their commitment to sustainability led them to go the extra step to become world’s first carboNZeroCert TM winery. By reducing and offsetting Carbon Dioxide emissions, the company is able to carry the carboNZeroCert TM label on all of its bottles, a distinction that the sisters are proud to possess. Other major sustainability efforts include integrating technologies that capture heat lost through refrigeration, restoring wetland habitats, recycling and reusing wastewater and materials, and the implementation of numerous farming and winemaking practices that are dear to the organic movement. The goal is to eventually achievine complete organic certification through BioGro, New Zealand’s leading organic certification agency.

But, even more innovative perhaps, is their ‘digitally advanced brand strategy’ and focus on social media technology. By promoting the combined values of sustainability and shared experiences, the McBride sisters’ hope to spread their passion for great-tasting, environmentally conscious wines through interactive digital environments and social networking. From a recent press release:

At the forefront of Wines’ social media-centric venture is the company’s implementation of QR codes, specific matrix barcodes that are readable by new-model camera phones and used to deliver various types of data. At retail locations, each Wines bottle features a hang-tag with a QR code and simple, three-step instructions describing how the code should be used. When potential customers scan the code with their mobile devices at point of purchase, they are automatically redirected to an interactive application where they can uncover multiple levels of information about the wine. The application’s format is reciprocal in that users are able to select what type of information they want to view next – tapping one icon on the screen will prompt a descriptive video about the wine, while another icon will bring up food pairing recommendations – catering to the specific needs of each customer.

Just as compelling is’s back story.  The McBride sisters met for the first time as young women in New York City in January 1999. Having been brought up on separate continents – Robin in the United States and Andrea in New Zealand – the sister’s immediately connected through their love of wine and shared desire to make a difference in the world. Together, they masterminded the Wines brand, products, and digital platforms.

In an interview published today on our sister blog, Ecopreneurist, Krates Ng, co-founder of Mokugift the ecard service, shares his interview with the McBride sisters. Its not surprising that the sisters decided to launch because they figured out that the wine industry could use a recharge:

…that’s when we decided to build our ideal wine company, one that was all about delicious wines and good times but that was deeply rooted in sustainability. We basically wove together everything that we loved into our ideal brand…and was born!

They figured it out and then went for it. I, for one, am rooting for them.

Written by Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer Kaplan writes about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for Insteading (and before the two sites merged) and is the author of Greening Your Small Business. She is an Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone and was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster, an MFA and an MBA – follow her on Twitter.


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  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful article! We are honored to be featured on Eat Drink Better! Just want to clarify that we are not the first winery to be certified carboNZero but our wines are made in the world’s first carboNZero CertTM winery. Our certification is made possible through our partnership with the New Zealand Wine Company. You can click here to see more details:
    Cheers! The team

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