In 3150BC 700 Amphorae were found in the tomb of Scorpion in Abydos, Egypt which is only a few hundred miles south of the Nile delta. Some have inscriptions on them which describe the type of wine, when and where it was made and the winemakers name. The Amphorae was the choice for storage, transport and aging wine for over 5500 years.
There has been evidence found that the dolium was used for transportation. Between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD there have been at least seven shipwrecks that have been found that were carrying dolia.
In 58BC Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. This meant the Romans moved into regions that couldn’t be accessed by ships. Instead of being transported by ships wine now had to be transported over land.
It is cheaper to transport a flexi tank or ISO tank than it is to transport a container full of bottled wine because a standard container holds 13,000 bottles which is approximately 10,000 litres where as a standard flexitank or ISO tank holds 24,000 litres this is equivalent to 32,000 bottles of wine. This means more wine being transported and less trips.This is because the bottle is travelling less time as a “Finished product” and if this is damaged it cannot be sold.Bulk shipping postpones the time of bottling and this postpones the start of the wine’s shelf life. This benefits theretailers because this means all of the wines shelf life is spent in the country of sale.By bottling at the point of arrival they have more flexibilty when it comes to labelling e.g they seller/ importer can use labels that respond to promotinal or seasonal demands of the customer by making the wine appeal to them more.
Wine that comes into contact with air will spoil and oxidize. This is extremely important when transporting wine. A damaged seal in an ISO tank or using a plastic material that allows oxygen to enter can lead to spoilage of the whole shipment. By carefully checking seals and choosing suitable material for wine transport you can prevent oxidation from occurring.Re-fermentation can occur when residual sugar is present. To ensure that this does not happen it is important to make sure the microbial status of the wine is stable, the equipment for loading the tank and the tank itself must be clean and sterile. Contaminations and taints can happen in bottle and bulk shipments. The taints and contaminations can come from previously transported goods. To avoid this is important to clean and sterilize tanks or use a new bag inside the tank. Temperature can effect the quality of the wine. The ideal transport and storage temperature of a wine is 13 to 15 degrees. Temperature can cause chemical reactions in the wine which causes the wine to spoil.
Transportation of wine over long distances (Sarah Luke)
The transportation of wine is a
very important part of
exporting. This is because wine
is perishable. The
transportation of wine over
long distances can be
expensive and risky.
The earliest wine was most likely transported
in animal skins and bladders. Though these
containers have not survived, the materials
would have been available for carrying and
transporting small amounts of wine.
A typical amphora is quite thick,
approximately one inch and made out of
clay. It has a pointed tip which allows it to be
buried into the ground to secure it during
storage or transportation.
The dolium is a large clay jar made by the
Romans. It was used fro storage shipping and
aging wines. It would be buried up to its neck
under the surface.
Traditionally barrels are made from oak. But back
when they were first created they were made
from pine. By around 400AD barrels were the most
common container used for storage and
transportation and the use if amphorae was unheard of.
Wine bottles starting
being used in the mid to
late 1600s. When the
bottle is sealed off with
a cork it allowed for long
term aging of wines.
Now more commonly
used are screw cap lids
There are three main ways to
transport bulk shipments of wine.
• In bottles
• An ISO tank
• A flexi tank
The wine can be bottled at a
bottling plant, boxed in cases
and packed into a large container.
The container can then be
transported by truck to a port and
can be exported overseas.
ISO tanks are stainless reusable tanks that can fit
directly onto a standard sized truck. This means that
they can be transferred very easily to rail or sea
transport. They can hold a maximum of 26,000 litres
Flexitanks are containers that are fitted with an inflatable bag.
The bags are disposable and are only to be used once. Flexitanks
can come in a range of sizes the largest can hold a maximum of
• Low oxygen migration.
• Protects against organic materials.
that can taint wines.
• Range of sizes.
• Cheaper to operate over ISO
• Flexitanks can be damaged easier.
• Disposable plastic bags.
• Can hold more than flexitanks.
• Stainless steel will not contaminate
• Very robust
• It is cheaper to transport a flexi tank or ISO tank than it is to
transport a container of bottled wines.
• Damage to bottles and labels is reduced when the
product is filled closer to the destination point.
• The shelf life of the wine is extended when shipping as
unbottled bulk wine.
• By bottling at the point of arrival they have flexibility when
it comes to labelling.
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• Forde, M., & Shrewsbury, C. (n.d.). The benefits of importing wine in bulk.
http://www.transoceanbulk.com/Uploads/CaseStudy/TOD_7_Case Study - The
benefits of importing wine in bulk.pdf
• Hartley, A. (2008, May). Bulk shipping of wine and its implications for product
quality. Retrieved from http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Bulk shipping
& wine quality Ma'y08.pdf
• T, G. (2009, October 5). A history of wine. Retrieved from
• T, G. (2009, November 2). The history of wine part 2 - wine storage - the early
days. Retrieved from http://www.snooth.com/articles/the-history-of-wine-part-
• T, G. (2009, November 9). The history of wine part 3 - wine storage - barrels.
Retrieved from http://www.snooth.com/articles/the-history-of-wine-part-ii-