Wines of South African said it favoured the option over more bulk shipments of wine because of the negative impact the latter could have on jobs.
South African Wine Information Systems has calculated that for every 10 million litres of wine shipped in bulk, 107 jobs would be lost.
Su Birch, chief executive of WOSA, said: “As we raise our export volumes of mostly bottled wines, we also increase our carbon emissions, so it becomes a delicate balancing act to enhance our sustainability profile while pushing up our output.
“One solution might be to ship more of our wines in bulk. However, this poses a major problem in that many jobs would be lost.”?Producers will have access to new screwcap bottles weighing 350g from April, in time for the 2010 harvest.
These compare with an average glass bottle weight of over 500g four years ago. The volume of bulk exports dropped 18% last year, while packaged shipments rose 7%.“This is not only good for individual brands and for jobs, but for the quality standing of brand South Africa,” said Birch.