aluminum wine cans
The organizer of the annual International Canned Wine Competition says the contest has proven to be “aluminating.”
Photo courtesy of the International Canned Wine Competition.

Aluminum packaging gaining attention in wine country

California contest awards worldwide aluminum can design and artwork, along with wine quality.

August 24, 2021

A July event held in Boonville, California, involved the display and tasting of more than 300 aluminum-canned wines from around the world. The event has been created in part to help show off the design possibilities of aluminum packaging in the wine industry.

At the third annual International Canned Wine Competition, held July 20-22 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, wines from 17 countries, including Argentina, Australia, France, India, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom competed on design and taste with wines from throughout the United States.

This year’s contest featured “an explosion of wine-based spritzers and seltzers,” according to competition founder and organizer Allan Green. Overall, judges awarded gold medals to 85 of the 335 wines entered.

Along with judging the wines on flavor, the package design competition “showed how creative designers and marketers have become with the new canned wine medium,” the organizers say.

Best of Show honors for 2021 went to California-based Solid Ground Winery for Ria Sparkling Rosé; California-based Alloy Wine Works for 2020 Hans Gruner; British Columbia, Canada-based Joie Farms for 2020 Tsunami Rosé; and Oregon-based Canada Canned for Oregon Pinot Noir. United Kingdom-based Kiss of Wine, which won four medals, earned the event’s highest medal count.

“The creativity and ingenuity of the canned wine segment brings renewed life and excitement to the party,” says Randy Schock, winemaker at Handley Cellars, who served as one of the judges. “So much room to create and explore old and new regional culinary and lifestyle expressions makes the idea of traveling and sampling exciting again.”

Competition director Green says plans are underway for the fourth annual International Canned Wine Competition, to be held in July 2022, and quips that is will be “aluminating.”

The Aluminum Association, Arlington, Virginia, calls aluminum “one of the only materials in the consumer and industrial waste stream that more than pays for its own recycling.” Adds the association, “Aluminum cans return from the recycling bin to the store over and over again in a true closed loop.”