One of Melbourne’s newest wine stores has put a unique swing on sustainability, opening a retail store that exclusively sells wine on tap. 

The Collingwood store called Glou opened late last year and is blurring the boundaries between retail store and tasting room. The Berlin-inspired venue aims to be a pioneering force to change the way the industry sells and consumes wine while bringing a new environmental consciousness to the industry.

Founders Rahel Goldmann and Ron Davis, who have collectively spent 30 years working in fine-dining restaurants and up-market wine stores across the world, joined forces to create the store, using French expression ‘glou, glou’, translated as ‘glug, glug’, to create a unique retail environment.

Goldmann and Davis work directly with winemakers, who take the wine straight from the barrel and put them into kegs. These wine kegs are then poured by tap into reusable bottles at the point of sale at Glou, in 500ml, 1000ml and 2000ml growlers. Customers are invited to bring their bottles back into the store to be refilled, or alternatively, are provided with a rebate if they wish to return them.

Not only does this avoid the need for single-use bottles and plastic labels, it also drastically reduces Glou’s carbon footprint by reducing the weight of wines being transported by nearly half.

In an era where there is a strong community of grape growers and winemakers pushing to produce quality wines in the least environmentally destructive way possible, Goldmann said Glou provides a new avenue for closing the sustainability loop further.

She explained that there is often a disconnect when the winemaker puts ample thought and effort into creating a sustainable wine, only for said wine to: “find itself in single use glass, under single use closures, and wrapped up in single use labels. As much as these things can go into our recycling bins, unfortunately in Australia that system is just not where it needs to be.”

Glou was created to invite greater transparency, advocate for more environmentally sustainable practices, and inspire positive change in the industry.

The selection at Glou is built off prosperous relationships with Australian producers, who emphasise minimal intervention and sustainable winemaking. On the list includes the likes of Ari’s Natural Wine Co, Rasa Wines, Charlotte Dalton, Dirty Black Denim, Phil Lobley, Ben Haines, and Noisy Ritual.

In addition to the retail aspect, Glou also operates a tasting room that plays a huge part in the brand’s efforts to bind the disconnect between how we currently make, sell and drink wine. Here, customers can connect face-to-face with winemakers, viticulturalists and industry players to have open conversations on the shared visions and goals of both wine producers and consumers.

Davis added: “wine is about enjoyment… that will always be its purpose and why we’re drawn to it. But it also holds a magnificent possibility to make positive change in the world around us”.

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