EthicDrinks brings planet-friendly wines to UK market

EthicDrinks, an environmentally-friendly wine business from France, is launching into the UK market.

The company, which was founded in 2019 by Mickaël and Camille Alborghetti with the aim of making the wine world more responsible, claims to be the leading green wine merchant in France. It is Bordeaux-based company which only markets wines that are certified vegan.

With the strapline “Cheers to the Planet”, the duo is targeting UK supermarkets and major online grocery retailers to launch the company’s branded wines and develop own-label SKUs for the off-trade. 

Mickaël Alborghetti said: “Our next ambition is to establish EthicDrinks in the UK market.

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

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

It was on returning from a trip to Bali in 2019, and shocked by the plastic deposited on beaches there, that Mickaël Alborghetti quit his job and moved into private enterprise.  Grandson of a Burgundian winegrower and the son of an environmental activist, Mickaël – a trained agricultural engineer – aspired to join the wine sector, which he believed was lacking in innovation.  Some months later, Mickaël founded EthicDrinks with his wife Camille (also an agricultural engineer) to maximise sustainability at every step of the wine journey – from the vineyard to the winery and to the shelf in-store. 

The Bordeaux company now employs eight and with a turnover of 400,000 Euros in 2020, sells vegan (and often organic) wines with the lowest environmental impact across logistics, transport and packaging.  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.  A cargo sailboat exporting from Breton further limits the ecological impact of EthicDrinks who hold an admirable list of green credentials: A certified green economy company, committed to the ClubEntreprendre pour la Planète, a partner of the WWF and 1% for the planet, and certified B-Corp.  EthicDrinks are “carbon free,” offsetting all emissions with the replanting of two hectares of Saint Emilion forest.

EthicDrinks buys bulk volumes of officially certified environmentally-friendly wine from all over France to create “fruity and mellow” blends, which are bottled in-house and marketed under different brands. 

Mickaël Alborghetti said: "For a while, I had been wondering how to make the wine business more considerate of the environment.  Our industry needs to address this head-on and get innovative.  That’s what we are doing at EthicDrinks – we are a first in the wine sector.”

EthicDrinks is weathering the Covid-19 storm as the thirst for organics grows. 

He said: "The consumption of organic wine increased by 10% in 2020. Organic growers are more than pleased to work us because we are a merchant embracing sustainability in every part of our supply chain.  Our young company is positioned around a growth sector.” 

Already 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. 

Mickaël  said: "We have good organic wines including our new brand, Sous L’Ocean, that do good for the planet and they are at attractive prices. 

“At EthicDrinks, we are limiting the environmental footprint of our corporation.  It’s a challenge to create brands that – from the bottle, the capping, the label and even the transport – have the minimum impact on the environment.  But as we aim for a million Euro turnover this year, the challenge is as bold as it is worthwhile.”