Rebel winemakers, Black Elephant Vintners (BEV) are stirring things - in their inimitable style - with the introduction of their wines in cans. Picture: Supplied
Rebel winemakers, Black Elephant Vintners (BEV) are stirring things - in their inimitable style - with the introduction of their wines in cans. Picture: Supplied

Black Elephant Vintners introduces wine in a can

By Staff reporter Time of article published Feb 23, 2020

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Wine in a can is an innovation that could divide the crowds, but there is no ignoring it. Producers are increasingly understanding that wine needs to be made more approachable and inclusive to appeal to a younger consumer base. 

That said, rebel winemakers, Black Elephant Vintners (BEV) are stirring things - in their inimitable style - with the introduction of their wines in cans. 

In a statement, local wine expert, Cathy Marston says that canned wine has huge potential to be popular in South Africa, but it will take time for everyone to get their heads around the idea. So, the team at BEV saw the potential immediately though and recently launched a Sauvignon Blanc and a Rosé in 250ml cans. 

Below, BEV managing director, Kevin Swart talks about the new product.  

Q: Why wine in a can?

A: Why not? We see this as taking wine where bottles cannot go. Picnics, hikes, music festivals, sporting events, etc. It is also a completely recyclable, sustainable and vegan-friendly product.

Q: Does it make any difference to the wine if it's in a can or a bottle?

A: Wine is for every person when they drink it. Different temperatures, glasses, storage conditions, etc. so we don’t believe there is. Most people pour their wine into a glass anyway. Wine very often is made in a steel tank so why would a can change it?

Q: Why do you think it's taken so long for a local winery to produce canned wines?

A: We are very stuck in a narrative that wine comes in a bottle. This has never been the case for beer, gin, and soft drinks. It’s a perception. Kodak never thought digital photography would take off, Blackberry thought we all wanted keypads on our phones and we know how those ended.

Q: You've canned your white and your rosé. Any reds anytime soon?

A: Yes Pinot Noir at the end of February and we are busy working on some other alternatives as well.

Q: Could we see MCC in a can soon?

A: MCC requires a second fermentation in a bottle, this is not possible with a can at present. But sparkling wine.

Q: What average length of time will wine in a can last if kept in ideal conditions?

A: The cans have been passed for a shelf life of twelve months, which means they need to last a minimum of twelve months, ironically there is no shelf-life test for bottles.

Q: How are you selling it and what is the retail price?

A: Cases of twenty-four or individually but will have them in packs of four shortly. They can be purchased for R35 each from the farm.

Q: Will this affect existing wine sales?

A: We don’t see this as competition to existing wine sales but opening up an area that wine in bottles doesn’t serve as well. Sports events, outdoor activities, festivals or as a single serving for when you don’t feel like opening a whole bottle.


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