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have been interested in what to do with discarded wine bottles since serving on the board of directors of Skookum. During my service, we tried in earnest and at significant time and expense to make wine bottle reuse a reality in Washington State. A well thought out and professional business plan was drawn up, grants were obtained, a small scale bottle washer was purchased, people were trained and REWINE was launched—to utter failure.
Two major hurdles had to be overcome. First, more easily removable labels had to be found; and second, a way to get FairWinds (and ONLY FairWinds) bottles returned in good shape had to be figured out. I took care of the first problem by finding an adhesive that will come off in hot water (no chemicals needed). The adhesive is a little more expensive and the labels sometimes don’t look their best on the shelf but so be it.
You are the key. If you buy FairWinds wine just do the following ~
Rinse the bottle as soon as you empty it. Rinsing out the wine left in the bottle takes care of 99% of the cleaning required. Take a knife and strip off the cap (the little plastic deal at the top of the bottle) Try to peel off the label. Some our labels will peel right off—some you’ll just get parts of it off. Don’t worry about it, I can get the rest, or all, of the label off. After you’ve rinsed the bottle try to keep it upside down. This keeps stuff (bugs, dust, airborne yeast, etc) from getting in. This isn’t really critical as I will sanitize the bottles before use—it just makes it easier.
That’s it. You do your part and I’ll do mine. We won’t make a big dent in the over 113,000,000 wine bottles produced by Washington wineries this year but a small dent is better than no dent at all.
Micheal Cavett, FairWinds Winery
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