THANK YOU FROM BOROUGH WINES: BRING ON 2021!

As 2020 finally draws to an end, we wanted to say a huge thank you to every single customer who has supported us through this year of years. Every refill, every mulled wine and every bottle you’ve chosen to buy from us has kept us going. We hope they’ve brought you some good times along the way! 

We can look back on this year with a massive sense of pride; our amazing hardworking staff: serving you at our shops, filling keg after keg at our warehouse and innovating and creating at our HQ. We connected with sommeliers who had been left adrift by the closure of hospitality venues, bringing our Online Wine Tasting ‘Somm Sessions’ to public and corporate customers in the U.K. and beyond. We also took our biggest step forwards yet in our sustainability journey, launching our unique Bottle Return scheme and expanding our Wine-on-Tap offering with our wholesale arm Sustainable Wine Solutions. We refuse to let 2020 just be the year of COVID-19. For us it will be the hard fought foundation for a new decade and future, where we will champion and provide sustainable, quality wine that quite literally doesn’t cost the earth.

Signing off with a little story time…

Last week, at our mulled wine bar in our Borough Market shop, a customer told us about a family tradition. Every year, her mum would travel from Australia to the U.K. so they could celebrate Christmas as a family. They’d gather a feast from Borough Market and top it off with a glass of our famous mulled wine. This year, 9000 miles and COVID restrictions kept them apart – but a WhatsApped photo of a steaming mulled wine with ‘wish you were here’ soon pinged back with love and wishes for a Merry Christmas – and a hello to us at the shop! So many Christmas traditions have been put on hold this year, but with a good glass of wine and a message to the ones we love, we can remind ourselves that this too will pass. We will be waiting to chink glasses when this is all behind us. 

We’ll leave you with the words of Tim Minchin, author of one of our favourite Christmas songs ‘ Drinking White Wine in the Sun’, which puts it better than we ever could:

“And if, my baby girl

When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one

And Christmas comes around

And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home

You’ll know what ever comes

Your brother and sister and me and your mum

Will be waiting for you in the sun

When Christmas comes…

Darling whenever you come

We’ll be waiting for you in the sun”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. 

SUSTAINABLE WINE SOLUTIONS: THE BOROUGH WINES IDENTITY

INTRODUCING SUSTAINABLE WINE SOLUTIONS FROM BOROUGH WINES: SUPPLIERS OF GREAT WINE FROM GREAT WINE MAKERS IN SUSTAINABLE FORMATS

To paraphrase Bowie, we’ve been going through some changes over the past year or two… Back in late 2019, we emerged from our restructuring cocoon as a wholesale focused business, providing sustainable, exceptional quality Wine-on-Tap to the trade whilst retaining our key own retail outlets in Borough Market and Hackney. We held on to our core values of the value of refill and the importance of sustainability, all with our trademark humour and accessibility. 

The harsh realities of 2020 led us back into our retail roots. However, as we see light at the end of the COVID tunnel, we want to swing the spotlight back onto our wholesale strengths and the need for more practical, sustainable solutions in our industry. We refuse to let 2020 just be the year of lockdown; for us, it’s going to be the year we took our biggest step yet to embracing a truly sustainable way of doing business.

We’re proud to launch Sustainable Wine Solutions: our dedicated website for our role as a service provider of sustainable wine to the trade. We’ve expanded our wine-on-tap offering to include VinoTap™, a 10L bag-in-box alternative, and launched our most ambitious project to date: the Bottle Return Scheme. All of these solutions will deliver our fantastic range of Zero Waste wines: cracking wines sourced from sustainably focused producers. Over the next few weeks we’ll be profiling some of the winemakers who contribute to our range, giving you an idea of the passion and care you can taste in their wines!

OUR BOROUGH ‘WINERY’

Our hub in Greenwich serves as our kegging and now our bottling centre. Wine arrives in bulk from our sustainably focused, independent winemakers, to keep our carbon footprint in check, and we transfer it to our 100% refillable 25L Kegs, VinoTaps™ and Return Bottles. Thanks to our crack team of winery experts and protective processes, the wine stays as fresh and delicious as it was the day the winemaker declared it a job done. 

MORE THAN A MIDDLE MAN 

We know we can add real value to our producers’ wines, helping them to stand out in a crowded market and reach exactly the right customer. Bringing their wines into our sustainable formats allows for better prices for customers, assurance of great quality, and a real commitment to sustainability. 

GOING THE EXTRA MILE

We’ve been innovating since we poured our first drop of refill wine from our Borough Market keg in 2002. Our Wine-on-Tap model was the first of its kind in the U.K., and in 2018 we transitioned to the use of 100% reusable Ecofass kegs, meaning we could confidently say our kegs truly were Zero Waste. This past year we’ve really cranked it up a notch, launching our Zero Waste wine range and our Bottle Return scheme to finally make the bottle part of the solution. 

JOIN THE COMMUNITY!

The more partners we have, the more of a difference we can make. We want the quality and environmental benefits of Wine-on-Tap and Bottle Return to spread across the country and bring about a refill-revolution –  a refillution, if you will! We can save countless tonnes of waste from glass bottles, plastic and cardboard from bag-in-box and non-refillable kegs. All this and reduced transport needs can make a really tangible impact on the trade’s carbon footprint. If you know of a shop, bar, restaurant or event space that has a real commitment to quality and sustainability, point them our way for all their wine needs!

BOTTLE RETURN & ZERO WASTE WINES

Last weekend our North Greenwich winery waved goodbye to our first shipment from our innovative new Bottle Return scheme, but hopefully it won’t be long before they’re reunited!

It’s been a busy few weeks for the Borough Wines team, as we launch our biggest step yet towards a sustainable future: the Bottle Return Scheme and Zero Waste Wine! Launched last weekend at our stores in Borough Market and Wilton Way and pop-up shops at Mad Atelier, Mason & Painter and Ludlows, we can’t wait to see what you think of the wines and our beautiful bottles. In fact, we love them so much that we want the bottles back! All you have to do is pop back in store with your Return Bottle (easily recognised by the chalk stripe on the front) and you’ll get 50p off your next purchase from the range. Save a few pennies, pop open a cracking wine whenever suits you and know you’re helping to do your bit for a more sustainable future. Cheers to that!

What is the Bottle Return Scheme?

As pioneers of the refill concept in the U.K., we realised that there is no ‘one fits all’ solution; our Wine on Tap swing-top refill bottles work brilliantly for drinking over the next few days, but for something to stash away for just the right occasion or even just to hear that oh-so-satisfying ‘pop’ of the cork, only the traditional bottle will do. So, when Damien Barton of the historic Barton Bordeaux wine dynasty approached us with an idea to take our sustainability credentials to the next level and make the bottle part of the solution, we realised that he was really onto something. 

We want to make a real shift in our attitude to waste; recycling just doesn’t go far enough. Our Bottle Return scheme brings a sustainable twist to the traditional wine bottle: each bottle is designed so they can be returned, sterilised and reused up to 30 times. When the time comes, the bottles and labelling are 100% recyclable. 10 bottles reused and eventually recycled could save the production of 300 glass bottles. All you need to do is bring back your bottle to your local stockist, and we collect and reuse them. Pretty simple really!

What is Zero Waste Wine?

With a strong focus on organic, vegan and biodynamic wines, every winemaker we work with in the Zero Waste range is committed to reducing their waste output and practicing the least impactful grape growing and winemaking techniques. Labels within the range such as Artisan, Women Winemakers & Organic celebrate winemakers who have displayed a true commitment to balance, quality and sustainability in their wines and their vineyards.  From Bordeaux’s Chateau Mauvesin Barton to an organic Xarello from Casa Berger in Catalunya, Spain, explore the world of wine in a truly sustainable (and delicious!) way.