Monday, June 15, 2009

Standing Stone Pulls the Cork on Bottled Wine

In a move to support a local winery, as well as to reduce the use of packaging, Standing Stone Brewing Co. recently tapped its first keg of wine made by Wooldridge Creek Winery. The first batch of wine, a red variety made with Tempranillo grapes, has been specially kegged for Standing Stone by Greg Paneitz and Kara Olmo, winemakers with Wooldridge Creek Winery.

In addition to the Tempranillo, Standing Stone is now also “tapping” a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay, all from Wooldridge Creek Winery.

“We have been on a mission to reduce or eliminate packaging for years.” said Alex Amarotico, Co-owner and Operator of Standing Stone Brewing Co. “Paneitz and Olmo, were the first to entertain our request to put their wine in our reusable stainless steel kegs!”

The restaurant and brewery installed a complete tapping system that uses pure nitrogen to push the wine, without adding carbonation, from the keg to the glass. Standing Stone’s brewer and wine steward, Adam Benson says “this ensures we will never have a corked bottle of this wine.” The nitrogen pressurization means “the wine will stay in its same state from a full keg to the last drop”.

The added benefits are zero glass to recycle, no corks, no foil or plastic caps, no cardboard cases, and less space taken for storage. Amarotico said “we are expecting to pour the equivalent of 84 cases of these wines in the next year, that’s over a 1,000 bottles worth, or over a half ton of glass, 100 pounds of paper products (mostly cardboard cases), and 16 pounds of cork, all while making for a better product.”

Currently there are a handful of restaurants, mostly in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta that offer wine served in this way. This makes Standing Stone the first and only restaurant in Southern Oregon (actually all of Oregon maybe) to offer high quality wine on tap!

Wooldridge Creek winery is owned by Ted and Mary Warrick and located in the Applegate Valley, with fruit first planted in the 1970’s. They have 56 acres and 12 varieties, and produce approximately 2,500 cases a year.

Standing Stone Brewing Co. is a restaurant and brewery located in Ashland, Oregon, that is devoted to sustainable practices and supporting local producers.

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