Transport of wine over long distances

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  • The earliest known vessel, that could have been used for wine is the Kwevri, which is a clay jar, said to date back to 6000 BC. Found by archaeologists in Caucasus, known today as Georgia, the Kwevri seemed to be decorated with bunches of grapes (“history”, n.d.). An Amphora is a vessel that was used to transport and store wine. The oldest amphora to be found by archaeologists, it dated back as far as 4800 BC, and was found in Banpo, China. In Europe, the amphorae were used by the ancient Greeks and the Romans to transport and store wine, and grapes (“amphora” 2010).
  • The Romans transported their wine by sea in earthenware containers. Until they learnt of barrels from the Gauls in 3rd century AD, and for almost 2000 years barrels was the best option for transporting wine. Unfortunately there have been no archaeological findings of ancient barrels, because unlike the clay vessels, barrels are made of perishable materials (“amphora”, 2010)
  • In the 20th century these ancient technologies were replaced by pallet and container transportation. The main issues wineries must consider when transporting wine over long distances are minimising wine spoilage, avoiding breakages, expense, convenience and with climate change so important, reducing energy use, and CO2 emissions.
  • Wine can be shipped in bulk in ISO tanks or flexitanks, or can be bottled, packaged and stacked on pallets for transportation. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages ( Hartley, A. 2008).
  • ISO tanks are reusable stainless steel tanks that can be easily transferred from truck, to rail or sea transport. They are capable of holding up to 26,000 litres of wine, and because they are stainless steel, if cleaned thoroughly can be safely reused. ISO tanks can transport more wine than the flexitanks, and they are more robust ( Hartley, A. 2008).
  • Flexitanks are flexible bags that can hold up to 24,000 litres of wine. The bags fit into a standard 20ft container, and are transported from truck to rail or sea quite easily. For the transportation of bulk wine in bags, much research has been done to find a material that is suitable to transport wine without affecting the quality. The latest bag developed is made of polyethylene, and has a barrier material of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) which aides to stop the wine being tainted by organic materials. There is more risk of damage to the wine with the flexitank, in comparison to the ISO tank, as the bag can move during shipping. But Flexitank is the cheaper option of the two ( Hartley, A. 2008).
  • Transporting wine in bulk is cheaper than transporting in bottle. The flexitank can hold the equivalent of 32,000 bottles, and the ISO tank can hold the equivalent of 35,000 bottles. When transporting bottled product, a standard 20ft container holds approximately 13,000 bottle ( Hartley, A. 2008). Transporting wine in bulk is more environmentally friendly than transporting bottles. To produce and transport one bottle of wine from New Zealand, to the United Kingdom currently uses 13.7MJ of energy, and the CO2 emissions are 1,068.12g. One third of these figures are in relation to the transportation (Rupp,K.J. 2008). The greatest risk of transporting wine in bulk in ISO tanks or flexitanks, if the tank is not thoroughly cleaned if being re used. Contamination and taint from a previous load, can degrade wine. Oxidation can be an issue if there is a defective seal on the tank. This can destroy an entire shipment ( Hartley, A. 2008).
  • A standard 20ft container will hold 12,000 – 13,000 bottles. Bottles require very effective packaging to avoid breakage, (the most common problem when transporting wine in bottle), but also effective insulatation from temperature swings, to avoid spoilage of the wine. The most commonly used packaging used for shipping bottles over long distances is EPS, Molded Pulp, Corrugated Cardboard , and Formed Plastic Trays ( Tinney, Mc. 2009).
  • EPS (Styrofoam) is very effective at protecting the wine from breakage, and temperature related damage. It insulates and absorbs shock well, due to the thick materiel it is made from. Although, it is very expensive, needs a lot of storage space, and is the least environmentally friendly choice of packaging (Tinney, Mc. 2009). Corrugated cardboard is a good option for small wineries; this option is ‘middle of the road’ in price, although it can be costly for heavy shipments. Cardboard is very environmentally friendly, and biodegrades quickly. Corrugated cardboard is the least effective at avoiding breakages from the four choices. Over the last decade, Molded Pulp has become widely used in the industry. It protects the wine well from breakage, and the trays insulate well from fluctuating temperatures. Molded Pulp is the most economical, and it is one of the most environmentally friendly, it biodegrade in a landfill only a few years. Formed Plastic Trays are the newest option for packaging wine for transport. They have potential to gain popularity as they prove their ability to prevent breakages. They are durable and space saving, but are the most expensive. They can be recycled, but will not quickly biodegrade in a landfill ( Tinney, Mc. 2009).
  • Transporting wine in bottle can be an advantage. Product arriving at end destination bottled, labelled and ready for sale, saves a lot of time and hassle for the purchaser. Wineries choosing to transport their wine bottled, must consider many factors. Does the benefit out way the cost? That includes financial cost, and environmental cost. While transporting wine in bulk is less costly, wineries that chose to transport in bulk have to overcome the negative perception the customer/market has of bulk wine transportation ( Hartley, A. 2008).
  • The ideal temperature for storing wine is 13˚ to 15˚C. Many studies have been done on the fluctuating temperatures that containers are exposed to during long distance transportation, and the negative impact it can have on the wine, such as degradation of aroma, colour and flavour. If a winery was to ship more than one container of the same wine, and only one container was damaged by fluctuating temperature, then the product would not be consistent, this is not good for the wineries reputation, or customer satisfaction. In the transportation of bottled wine, temperature-controlled containers are an option, although they are more costly, this option is more for a wineries premium wines ( Hartley, A. 2008). Breakage is issue with sending bottled wines. Money needs to be invested to use packaging to avoid this.
  • Oxidation is an issue with transporting wine over long distances for both bulk shipping, and shipping in bottle. Wine that is exposed to air will oxidise. When a wine gets oxidised it changes the colour, aroma, and flavour ( Boehmer, A. 2008) . High temperatures during transportation of bottled wine can displace corks, encouraging oxidation. With bulk transportation, if the seal on an ISO tank is defective that will allow oxygen in. The membranes on the flexitanks can allow the ingress of oxygen ( Hartley, A. 2008) . Taint and contamination can happen when reusable tanks (ISO tanks) are not cleaned thoroughly between cargos, and the wine is tainted by residue of what was previously in it. And with the flexitanks, the membrane of the tank needs to have a barrier layer, such as ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) to prevent leeching of chemicals from the membrane ( Hartley, A. 2008). Re-fermentation usually is only a problem with sweet wines, or commercial wine that has residual sugar. If re-fermentation happens while being transported, it is a problem because it can not be stopped, where as if it happens in a winery it can be stopped by cooling the wine down, or added antimicrobial agents ( Hartley, A. 2008). To prevent re-fermentation of wine during transport the wine should be sterile filtered and contain adequate levels of SO2.
  • With corporations becoming more conscious of the environment and their carbon footprint, and with the government enforcing carbon taxes, I believe that wine transportation with move more towards the environmentally friendly options. Bulk transportation of wine, with bottling done in country of destination, and use of biodegradable packaging. The emission tr

Transcript

  • 1. Transport of wine over long distances By Holly Barrett
  • 2. History
    • The earliest known vessel, that could have been used for wine is the Kwevri, which is a clay jar, said to date back to 6000 BC.
    • An Amphora is a vessel that was used to transport and store wine dating back as far as 4800 BC.
  • 3. Image sourced from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphora
    • The amphorae were used by the ancient Greeks and the Romans to transport and store wine, and grapes.
    History
  • 4. History
    • The Romans transported their wine by sea in earthenware containers.
    • The Romans learnt of barrels from the Gauls in 3 rd century AD. Barrels were used for almost 2000 years.
    Image sourced from: http://www.cabotages.fr/cabotages-coastwise-in-english/1001-ships-and-sailors/bateaux-d-hier-to-tomorrow/ancient-wine-carriers.html Image sourced from: http://www.art.com/Two/Wine/Barrels
  • 5. In the 20th century these ancient technologies have been replaced by pallet and container transportation.
    • Main issues wineries must consider when transporting wine over long distances:
    • minimising wine spoilage
    • avoiding breakages
    • Expense
    • Convenience
    • reducing energy use, and CO2 emissions
  • 6. Transportation of wine in bulk.
    • There are two options for wine producers wishing to transport wine in bulk over long distances. They are ISO tanks, and Flexitanks.
    • Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • 7. ISO tanks Image sourced from: www.wrap.org.uk/.../ Bulk _shipping_ wine _quality_May_08.4c971b65.5386.pdf
  • 8. Flexitanks . Image sourced from: www.wrap.org.uk/.../ Bulk _shipping_ wine _quality_May_08.4c971b65.5386.pdf
  • 9. Some advantages and disadvantages of transporting wine in bulk
    • Advantages
    • Transporting wine in bulk is cheaper than transporting in bottle.
    • Transporting wine in bulk is more environmentally friendly than transporting bottles
    • Disadvantages
    • Greater risk of contamination and taint to the wine.
    • Spoilage. Oxidation due to defective seal on tank.
  • 10. Transportation of wine in bottle
    • Standard 20ft container holds approximately 13,000 bottles.
    • Requires effective packaging against breakage and temperature.
  • 11. Packaging options for bottles
    • EPS
    • Corrugated Cardboard
    • Molded Pulp
    • Formed Plastic Trays
    Images sourced from:http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getArticle&dataId=62877
  • 12. Some advantages and disadvantages of transporting wine in bottle
    • Advantages
    • Wine is ready for sale on arrival at end destination.
    • Convenient for the winery and the purchaser.
    • Disadvantages
    • It costs more to send bottles than to send in bulk.
    • Spoilage. Oxidation, reduction due to temperature fluctuations during transportation.
    • The process of transporting wine in bottle has high energy use and CO2 emissions.
  • 13. Challenges wine producers face when transporting wine over long distances
    • Temperature control of containers
    • To maintain consistent product.
    • Breakage
    The ideal temperature for storing wine is 13˚ to 15˚C. Temperature fluctuations can degrade the aroma, colour and flavour of the wine.
  • 14. Challenges wine producers face when transporting wine over long distances
    • Oxidation
    • Taint and contamination
    • Re-fermentation
  • 15. Moving towards the Future
    • Environment and carbon foot print
    • Bulk transportation
    • Use of biodegradable packaging
    • Emissions trading scheme
  • 16. References
    • Hartley, A. (2008). Bulk shipping of wine and its implications for product quality. Retrieved August 10, 2010 from www.wrap.org.uk/.../Bulk_shipping_wine_quality_May_08.4c971b65.5386.pdf
    • Tinney, Mc. (2009). Product Review: Wine Shippers. Retrieved August 7, 2010 from http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getArticle&dataId=62877
    • Rupp,K.J. (2008). Fine wine Export-Energy Use and CO2 Emissions A Case Study. Retrieved August 9, 2010, from http://neri.otrg.nz .
    • History. (n.d). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_(wine) .
    • Sanderson, K. (2009). History of wine and the vine [Handout]. Taradale, New Zealand: Eastern Institute of Technology: Diploma in Wine Marketing: 5.05 Introduction to Wine Business.
    • Amphora. (2010). Retrieved August 10, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphora
    • Boehmer, A. (2008). Why Good Wines Go Bad. Retrieved August 10, 2010 from http://newworldwine.suite101.com/article.cfm/why_good_wines_go_bad