Melissa Saunders, MW & Diana Snowden Seysses

Why do we use a carbon-intensive, 4,000-year-old technology to package wine? Heavy, fragile, and toxic, glass is ready for a rethink. And recent bottle shortages have caused winemakers to call for a reassessment of the glass bottle manufacturing industry.

In Ep. 109 we dig into packaging, supply chains, and the daunting task of reinventing both. Is the solution glass bottle re-use? A few universal bottle shapes and sizes? Or a different vessel altogether?

Photo with factory smog, quote: “Driving by glass production facilities, I’m reminded of The Lorax. There’s all sorts of things happening that you don’t want in your backyard.”  — Melissa Saunders, MW

We’re joined by Melissa Saunders, MW. Founder of Communal Brands, a wine import and distribution company focusing on producers committed to environmentally responsible practices, she also runs a consulting firm focusing on sustainable wine packaging, and she’s the wine director at The Good Goods, a reusable wine bottle startup. Melissa’s MW paper focused on alternative packaging solutions.

Boxed wine with quote: “When you show up to a party with a jeroboam of rosé v.s. a bag-in-box of rosé, the reaction is not the same. Somehow we need to make that cool.”  — Diana Snowden Seysses

Diana Snowden Seysses is the enologist at Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, and consultant at Domaine de Triennes in Provence. In 2005 she became winemaker at Snowden Vineyards in Napa Valley and in 2016 became winemaker for Ashes & Diamonds, also in Napa. She is a recognized authority on climate change as it relates to wine and holds a seat on Porto Protocol’s global steering committee.

This is an important conversation, so please tune in and let us know your thoughts on the glass bottle crisis. The Four Top is on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.


broken bottle

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