Over the last couple of years we have swung by Tim Orr’s booth at the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium to check out his progress in developing and promoting the wine TORR Keg. The TORR Keg is a unique and ingenious system utilizing disposable/recyclable 9-L plastic bags in a special keg that uses air to squeeze the wine in the bag, compressing the bag from the outside, through the tap system.
This is an improvement over the traditional keg system that uses a compressed gas – in the case of wine usually nitrogen – to dispense wine. Why? Well, wine doesn’t much like coming into contact with oxygen, so traditional kegs have to be sparged with nitrogen and then filled. Bigger containers are harder to clear of oxygen, and tapping them can introduce oxygen. As kegs are depleted they need more gas to fill the air space inside to maintain pressure, which sometimes can add a “spritz” to the wine. Traditional kegs also need to be cleaned to be reused, and are frankly heavy.
The TORR Keg allows the wine to be packed into 9-L bags (also sparged with nitrogen first; the bags have a 9-12 month shelf-life if not longer), and then never come into contact with any gas again. Once the wine is depleted, the bag can be easily removed and swapped for a fresh, full one. In some states like California, the bags can be recycled. Shipping wine in 9-L bags is also much lighter than shipping wine in aluminum kegs. Last, the keg itself doesn’t need to be cleaned for reuse. Like traditional kegs, the TORR Keg is perfect for serving fine wine in an on-premise establishment. (Read the press release here.)
An older article on wineenabler.com provides honest insight into alternative wine packaging’s eco-friendliness in comparison to the traditional glass bottle with natural cork stopper:
“Our investigations found that all three main alternatives to glass wine bottles – BIB, Tetra Pak and PET bottles – reduce the carbon footprint of wine compared to glass bottles. The major carbon savings come from the reduction in weight associated with shipping the wine and the energy savings associated with manufacturing the container. Which of the three alternatives is the most “green” depends largely on how far the wine is shipped, what method(s) of transportation is used, how much of the container is recycled, and how the “renewable resources” that are used to manufacture the container are managed.“
Alternative wine packaging can provide the appropriate container for the time, place, and use that may also be more green – an important consideration not only for the environment, but a growing one as a purchasing choice for wine consumers.
Read the full article here: