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Ethical Bordeaux wine distributor sets sights on UK

Published:  24 March, 2021

An ethical Bordeaux wine distribution start-up has announced its ambition to launch in the UK.

Founded in 2019 by Mickaël and Camille Alborghetti, Ethic Drinks buys bulk volumes of officially certified environmentally friendly wine from all over France to create blends, which are bottled in-house and marketed under different brands. 

Moreover, it only markets wines that are certified vegan.

Implementing eco-responsible measures across its wine production and distribution, Ethic Drinks claims to be the first French wine distributor bringing an all-vegan portfolio to the UK – whereby all the bottles are organic or biodynamic or certified sustainable.

"For a while, I had been wondering how to make the wine business more considerate of the environment,” said Mickaël Alborghetti, who is the grandson of a Burgundian winegrower and the son of an environmental activist. 

A trained agricultural engineer, Alborghetti said he aspired to join the wine sector, which he believed was lacking in innovation.   

“Our industry needs to address this head-on and get innovative. That’s what we are doing at Ethic Drinks – we are a first in the wine sector.

"We bring sustainably packaged wine that’s 100% planet friendly, vegan, carbon-free and plastic-free, offering consumers the best ecological footprint in wine.”

The start-up’s next ambition was to establish itself in the UK market, he added.

With the strapline ‘Cheers to the Planet’, the business said it is targeting UK supermarkets and major online grocery retailers to launch their branded wines and develop own-label SKUs for the off-trade.

Since launch, Ethic Drinks has grown to comprise eight employees and had a turnover of €400,000 in 2020. 

The business’ eco processes remove capsules, promote the use of vegetable glue for wine labels made from recyclable paper, bottle in dark glass, and close with natural corks. 

It said a cargo sailboat exporting from Breton further limited the ecological impact of Ethic Drinks, which is ‘carbon free’, offsetting all emissions with the replanting of two hectares of Saint Emilion forest.

Available in more than 210 V&B cellar and bar concept stores in France, the start-up is launching into 700 French Monoprix stores this spring with three organic lines of red, white and rosé wine, all under EthicDrinks’ Biodiversité label.