When in Rome wants to show the UK how to enjoy wine like the Italians do – in a more social, healthy and environmentally sustainable way.

Bringing wine to the UK from Italy has an environmental cost and we try to minimise this by shipping and selling wine only in boxes, which have a far smaller environmental footprint than single use glass bottles.

Boxes aren’t pretty though, so we also sell tough, refillable glass bottles. Not only do they look nice, they can also be reused hundreds of times. Washing a wine bottle for reuse generates less than 5% of the carbon emissions created in producing another bottle.

Many of our customers tell us they like to their When in Rome refillable bottle for drinking water too.

Another way to make our wine look pretty is to take a trip to your local charity shop and pick up a carafe. They’re full of them, just begging for a new lease of life.

The problem with single use glass bottles

Each year 1.8 billion bottles of wine are imported into the UK and virtually none are reused. The problem is this:

Single use wine bottles – it takes over 4 kWh of electricity just to make one new bottle, that’s enough to power your TV for a month
Recycling – the melting point of glass is over 1000°C – more than steel or aluminium – so manufacturing and recycling glass requires a gargantuan amount of energy
Landfill – regrettably, up to 40% of single use wine bottles in the UK are still not being put into recycling by people and the glass that does reach landfill could take around a million years to decompose.

Why we like working with small wine producers

As well as being lovely people, many of our families of co-operative producers are third or fourth generation winemakers, whose families have acted as environmental stewards of their land for centuries.

Our producers work hard to make genuine Italian wines that express the beauty and character of their region – and we pay them a fair price for it.

About our boxes

The cardboard part of our wine box is not made from recycled card (it’s not strong enough), but it is made from a sustainable source of wood and can be recycled easily after use.  Sadly, whilst the bag inside can be recycled in Italy, it’s not yet possible here the UK. We don’t drink enough box wine. As a member of OPRL, we are looking for a solution and consult with them regularly about the inner.

About our supply chain

All our wine is imported from Italy to the UK by train. Rail freight is slower, but smoother (our boxes don’t get squashed) and great value for money. It also produces 76% less CO2 emissions than the equivalent road journey.

Breakdown of food miles for a When in Rome box of wine:

867 miles – by train from Verona to Purfleet
140 miles – by road from Purfleet to our cellars in Gloucester (Oh OK, it’s a warehouse, but quite a nice one)