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Palmer Vineyards is now selling 1.5-liter bags of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

No corkscrew? No problem, with Palmer Vineyards‘ new approach to alternative wine packaging

Lacking an opener will never be a problem — so long as you are content with the vineyard’s chardonnay or sauvignon blanc — thanks to its new bagged wine, which Palmer began selling in its tasting room about three weeks ago.

“You don’t need to bring a bottle opener or anything like that,” said Miguel Martin, Palmer’s winemaker. “Just pull the tab.”

At first, the plastic sack seem like something designed for astronauts to carry into space with its sleek plastic exteriors and discreet packaging. But the easy-open spout makes for a practical design and is great for camping.

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“They are very convenient because you can take it to the beach, you can take it to the park, you can put it in the refrigerator and serve yourself a glass of wine if you want without getting any oxygen in the bottle,” Martin said.

Each bag contains 1.5 liters of wine, or two bottles’ worth, at a bargain price: a bag of sauvignon blanc costs $30, compared to $48 for two bottles and a bag of stainless steel-fermented chardonnay costs $25, compared to $28 for two bottles.

The bags are designed to be eco-friendly, too.

“The back of the package says it has 60 percent less carbon footprint than two glass bottles and 90 percent less waste in landfills than two glass bottles,” Martin said. “You save labels, corks and capsules.”

Martin said he came upon the bags in a magazine, so he contacted the makers, Astrapouch, and asked if he could use them to package his wines.

“This is not going to replace my whole line of wines,” he said. “I just wanted to do a fun project with chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.”

Although the company told Martin they already have more than 30 clients, he claims he is the first winery on Long Island to offer soft-packaged wine. Right now, he only offers the two types, but he said he could expand and put more options into bags, especially rosé.

Several other North Fork wineries have begun to offer other alternative packaging, most notably Bridge Lane Wines which offers wine by the bottle, keg and box.

Martin recommends drinking the wine within four days of opening the pouch. Martin fills the bags himself at the Riverhead winery and he plans to continue offering them as long as they remain in demand.

“We sold quite a few because, like I said, it’s very convenient,” he said. “It’s cheaper than buying two bottles of wine.”