1. What is a Alternative Container?
    2. Types of Alternative Viniculture Vessels
      1. Box Wine 
      2. Can Wine
      3. Wine Skins


ALTERNATIVE CONTAINER- Vessel Used During the Life of the Wine…Fermentation, Maturation, Transportation, Storage, Aging, Serving and Drinking Other Than Oak and Glass.

INERT CONTAINER- A Container Which Doesn’t Transfer Flavors Onto Its Liquid.

  • Glass, Stainless Steel, Concrete
  • **Refer to OAK BARREL” For Comparative Information.

HISTORY- Earth-Ware Pottery Jars Varied In Size and Shape But Could Be Sealed.

  • 1100’s Barrels Used, Animal Skins
  • 1900’s Start to See Tanks Made of Concrete and Steal.
  • 1950‘s Stainless Steel Vessels Started to Be Used For Wine Purposes.

Modern Winemakers Around the World Are Searching For Hygienic/ Breathable Vessels That Allow the Fruit to Show Itself Naturally.


AMPHORAHistorically a Word of Greek Origins and Was Traditionally a Small(50 Litres),  Round-Bottomed Ceramic or Earthware Vessel Used For Storage.  In a Modern Sense to Term is Now Generally Used to Describe a Earthware Vessel Used as a Medium For Fermentation and Aging.

QVEVRICountry of Origin- Georgia

  • Earth-Ware Container Traditional to the Country of Georgia.  Qvevri Are Generally Used For Fermentation and Not Storage or Transportation. Usually Sharp Point at the Bottom With a Narrow Mouth. Qvevri Can Range In Size From 500 Liters to 2,000 Liters.
  • Qvevri Are Buried to Stabilize Temperature. Grapes Are Crusted and Left For the Yeast to Commence Fermentation. After Primary Fermentation an Airtight Cover With Placed On the Kvevri and a Aging Period of 1-2 Years Started.
  • The Qvevri Are Planted In the Ground, Getting Them Planted In the Ground Level and Intact is Tricky and Art to Itself.  Across the Georgia Country Side Are Numerous Broken and Discarded Qvevri.
  • Once Planted In the Ground it is Still Tricky to Learn the Qualities of That Particular Qvevri. Although Similar In Size, There Can Be a 3 to 4 Year Learning Curve to Understand How These Differ.
  • There Are Few People In the World Left Who Know How to Make These Earthware Containers.  Presently There Are People Who Have Tried to Make These Qvevri In the Modern World But the Cost Are Expensive.

Typically Qvevri Are Used For Fermentation and Amphora Are Used For Transportation.

AMPHORACountry of OriginEgypt

  • Egypt/ Mediterranean Clay/ Earth-Ware Container Used For Storage and Bulk Transportation of Wine, Olive Oil, and Other Liquids or Commodities.
  • Varied by Size With Shared Similarities; Tall, Handled, Narrow Mouth, Tapered at Bottom to Point to Elevate Structural Pressure and Inner Surface Coated With Pine Resin or Bees Wax. First Produced by the Egyptian the Use of Amphora Were Utilize by the Majority of Wine Merchants In the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian Regions.
  • Narrow Neck Sealed Easily to Prevent Air From Spoiling Wine. Even In Egyptian Times it was Understood That Air Was Detrimental to Wine.
    • Capasoni- Puglia, Small Glazed
    • Tinajas- Spain, 400/ 600 Liter

DOLIUM/ DoliaCountry of OriginRome

  • Large Earth-Ware Vessel.  Large/ Rounded/ Oval In Shaped With Wide Mouth and Used In Ancient Roman Times Mostly For Fermentation or Storage of Wine Waiting to Be Put In Amphora For Transportation.
  • Storing Dolia Were Either Bury Half-Way In Ground or Standing Under a Roof.
  • Dolia and Amphora Weren’t Valuable and Sold Along With the Wine it Contained, and Readily Discarded or Reused.


  • PITHOS- Medium-Sized (Up to 1,000 Liters)
    • Concrete Vessel Producers
      • Juan Padilla @Spain
  • TINAJA- Spanish Term Meaning Jar, Smaller In Size (400 Liters), Usually With Flat Bottoms.
  • TALHA- Portuguese Term For Vessels, Usually Squat Shape, Narrow Neck and Wide In Middle. Talha Vary In Size Up to 1,500 Liters.


  • Traditionally Produced by Hand. Artisan Amphorae Makers Roll Coils of Clay and Form the Structure From the Bottom Up, Fusing Each Coil to the One Below. In Most Cases the Piece is Left to Dry Before Adding the Next Piece/ Coil So the Process Can Be Time Consuming.
    • Clay’s Has a Natural Thermal Dynamic Property, Keeping Internal Temperatures Low and Allowing a Slow, Cold Fermentation Period.
    • Winemakers Say It Imparts a Minerality From the Clay Contact.


  • Porous, Breathable, Promote Elegance and Increased Structure Without Oak Influence and Non-Fruit Flavors.
  • Produced From: Sand Gravel, Un-Chlorinated Spring Water and Cement, No Chemical Additives/ or Iron Added.
  • Concrete Vessel- Good For Storing/ Aging Wine.
  • Egg Shaped Concrete Vessel- Great For Fermentation. The Ovoid Shape Along With Constant Motion Resulting From the Heat and Co2 Giving Off During Fermentation Gives Must a Constant Convection Circulation That Gently and Continually Redistribute the Content and Helps Keep Yeast/ Lees Suspended and “Turns” It Onto Itself.  This  Reduces the Need For Batonnage or Racking.
  • Concrete Tanks Can Be Produced With Up to 5 Inch Thick Walls and Can be Fitted With Pipes to Circulate Cold or Warm Glycol to Prevent Temperature Spikes During Fermentation.
    • 240 Gallon NuBarrels
    • 476 Gallon Egg Tanks
    • 800 Gallon Square Tanks
    • 1,070 Gallon Conical Tanks
    • 1,440 Gallon Tower Tanks
    • 1400 Gallon Modified Tower Tanks
    • Fraction of the Cost of Oak Barrels.
    • Brightness, Purity of Fruit and Aroma, Learner, Tighter.
    • Can Be Customizable, Made to Order 80- 28,000 Gallons.
    • Thick Walls Can Allow Heating/ Cooling Coils to Be Built Inside
    • Natural Circular Vortex From Energy Expended During Fermentation.
    • Reduces Wines Access to Oxygen.
    • Requires 1/3 of the Space, 1/2 of the Labor.
    • Virtually No Evaporation, No Topping Needed.
    • Walls Provide Insulation From Temperature Swing, This Allows for Smooth, Gradual Fermentation, Warms Up Slowly and Maintains Warmth Longer.
    • Concrete Eggs Can Be Larger In Size and Are Great for Storing/ Aging Wine.
  • VINICULTURECHALLENGE– Can’t Sterilize Concrete With Steam.
    • Estate/ Producers- Harlan Estates, Screaming Eagle, Viader, Zorzal
    • Sonoma Cast Stone   @Petaluma
    • Spec Trellising   @Ivyland, Pennsylvania


  • HISTORY 1950‘s Stainless Steel Vessels Started to Be Used For Wine Purposes
    • Used For Fermentation, Cold Stabilization, Transportation, Aging.
    • Produced In Sizes Ranging from 2 to 200,000 Gallons.
    • Rust Resistant, Non-Toxic, Zinc and Lead Free.
    • Economic: Can Be Purchased Second Hard, Some Cost as Oak Barrels But Can Be Used Longer.
    • Easy to Clean, if Properly Maintained Can Last For Decades.
    • Easy to Control Temperature, Monitor Fermentation.
    • Fermentation In Stainless Steel is Controlled by…Ambient Air, Cold Water Bath.
    • Glycol Cooling Coils- Insulated Coils or Cooling/ Heating Jacket That Wrap Around Steel Container to Help Keep at a Perfect Temperature and Easy to Monitor.
    • Sealed Wine Tank and Open Tank Versions
    • Un-Oaked- Aged In Stainless Steal
    • Fermentation in Neutral Environments
    • Mostly Commonly Used Vessel For Fermentation.
    • Autoclave- Large (Sometimes 30 Feet Tall Steel Pressurized Tanks Used In Italy For Mass Production of Sparkling Wines. (Prosecco, Asti Style)
    • Added Complexity to Wine by Preserved Aromas.
    • Contributes: Leanness, Crispness, Preserves Fruit and Acid.
    • Control Temperature Easier by Glycol Cooling Coil System or Cold-Water Bath System.
    • More Trustworthy Than Wine Barrels. (Which Can Be Wildcards)
    • Easier to Completely Clean and Thoroughly Sanitize.
    • Highly Customizable/ Lightweight/ Insulated
    • Easy to Stack, Logistic, Storage
    • La Garde     @Ontario/ Quebec, Canada
    • Schafer



  • Wine In Alternative Containers (Other Than Glass) Allows Us to Drink Wine Where You Normally You Couldn’t. On a Hiking Trip, On a Fishing Boat, at the Beach.

BOX-WINE AKA=Bag In a Box, Bladder Bag

Collapsible Laminated Bag Inside a Cardboard Carton Developed to Provide a Large Volume of Wine In a Package That’s Not Heavy or Breakable, and Preserves Wine Better Than is Left In Container by Minimizing Ingress of Oxygen.

  • A Plastic Air Tight, No Spill, Easy Taps Attached to Flexible Balder Bags That Let the Wine Drinker Take Wine Anywhere Free of Inhibitions and Judgment.
  • With the Emergence of Bulk-Wine There Was a Push to Get a Greater Volume of Wine In a Small Space.
  • Restaurant Loved Box-Wine Because You Could Do Wine by the Glass and Not Be Left With Half Empty Bottles.
  • Box Wine Can Have the Ability to to Stay Relatively Fresh In the Refrigerator For Up to a Month.
  • Generally Boxed Wine is Inexpensive, Meant For Early Drinking.  Now There is a Modern Movement to Put Better Quality Wines Into Boxed Wine.
  • White Wine Generally Preform Better In Box-Wine.
  • Its Stated That Box-Wine Should Be Consumed Within 7 Week, Most Wine Should Be Consumed Within 3 Weeks.
  • Selected Producers All Over the World Are Starting to Put Certain Wines In Box-Wine.


  • PIONEERS~ ~Thomas Angove South Australia, Gets Credit For Inventing Box-Wine.
  • The Manufacturing of the Boxes and Bags Has Increased In Quality, and the Boxes, Bags, ant Taps Can Be Easily Recycled.
  • History & Culture of Box-Wine Started In New Zealand and Australia.
  • Present Day Scandinavia Has Led the Way In Actual Uses of Box-Wine.  More Than Have the Wine Consumed In Sweden is From Box-Wine.

The Box Wine Technology is Increasing as Well as the Quality of Wine Producers Are Choosing to Put In Box Wines.

    • Big House Wine Company
    • Black Box
    • Bota Box
    • Di Giovanna     @Sicily, Italy
    • Franzia      @California
    • Jenny & Francois      @
    • Lieb Cellars’      @Long Island, New York
    • The Naked Grape
    • Pascal Lambert     @Chinon, Loire, France
    • La Petite Frog’s      @Languedoc, France
    • Schplink      @Burgenland, Austria

Box Wine While Backpacking In the Mountains or In Certain Environments or Situation is Magical.


Canning  Beverages Has Been Around For a Century But Canning Wine is Relatively New. Presently There is an Ever Newer Push to Can Wine.  There is Better Technology, Services Canning Equipment and the Support From the Can Wine Drinking Community is Growing.  It Has Never Been Earlier For a Wine Producer to Source Cans, Design the Labels On State of the Art Digital Graphic for Sleeves or the Print Straight On the Cans.

    • Convenience
    • Serving Size- 187 ml., 250 ml., 375 ml.
    • Easily Transported
    • Chilled
    • Work Night/ Only Need One Glass
    • CHALLENGES– Unlike Screw Caps Which Are Going to Have Some Transfer of Oxygen Through the Cork Cans Are Sealed and Absolutely No Transfer Oxygen Can Reach the Wine. This Can Lead to Reductive Aromas In the White Wine After They Are Canned For a Extended Period of Time.
      • It’s Appropriate to Include Some Sulfer In the Can Before Closure.
    • BENEFITS– Cans Have a Variety of Different Can Serving Sizes.
      • Can Vans, the Equivalent of Bottling Truck Can Come to You to Can Your Wine.
        • Canning Production Speed Vary Between 30 to 50 Can Per Minute.
    • Estate/ Producers- 14 Hands, Bonny Doon, Cycles Gladiator, Dark Horse, House Wine, Jam Cellars, Nomadica, Onward, The Pinot Project
    • California- Bin to Bottle, Castoro Bottling, Free Flow Wines, Lucky Clover Packaging, Multi-Color Corporation, R.B. Dwyer, The Can Van
    • Colorado- Bell Beverage Packaging, Can Source, Codi Manufacturing, Saxco, Ska Brewing, Wild Goose
    • Oregon- Craft Canning, Tinman Mobile Canning
    • USA./ Others- American Canning(Texas), Ardagh, Crown Holdings, EDL. Packaging, Iron Heart, Ninth Planet Beverage Solutions, Pack Leader


  • Animal Skins Cleaned Out, Tanned and Sewn Up to Make a Portable Wine Pouch. Until the Mass Production of Bottles From Glass, Wine Skins Was the Favorable Transportation of Wine For Centuries.

**Refer to BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.