Photo: Revelshine

This Sustainable Sonoma County Wine Brand Is Packaged for Outdoor Adventure

Wine Sustainability Outdoor
by Tim Wenger Sep 23, 2021

BACKPACKERS KNOW the feeling of arriving at the campsite after packing in, setting up shop, and finally taking a seat around the fire (or stove) to have a drink and recount the day. Problem is, they couldn’t bring their favorite wine because the glass bottle weighs too much, and bagged wine is likely to pop in the pack and make a giant sticky mess. Revelshine, an upstart wine brand out of Sonoma County, California, has made this problem obsolete by packaging sustainably-made wines in recyclable aluminum bottles.

Revelshine’s unbreakable aluminum bottles are 15 times lighter than glass. The bottles’ slender design helps them fit into bottle pouches on the side of backpacks, inside packs, or into drybags without occupying much space. This while each holds three full glasses of wine. When it’s time raise a toast, the wines pair nicely with aluminum tumblers. Or just drink it straight from the bottle — which is far classier than the “slap the bag” game you played in college, we promise.

“As a 4th generation winemaker, my dad raised me to absolutely love and respect the outdoors,” says founder Jake Bilbro. “I have friends who do funky things like duct tape bottles together to bring wine on rafting trips. Revelshine solves these problems. We make wine in unbreakable bottles to efficiently take with you in your pack, in your van or boat, to the beach, or to a friend’s backyard BBQ.”

Of course, you could simply buy canned wine from the liquor store and carry it with you into the wilderness. What sets Revelshine apart is that the wine is actually good. Bilbro grew up on the famed wine region’s Marietta Cellars vineyard, working in every aspect of the wine-making process. The concept of Revelshine was to create wines that can be shared in the outdoors rather than at home or in a restaurant. That could be on a hike or backpacking trip, after a day on the river, or during a parking lot apres-ski session. 

The wines themselves are equally approachable; there’s a red, a white, and a rosé. No pretentious titles, no fine print to read to identify what it is you’re about to drink. The red and white are well-tempered blends that are easy on the palette, while the rosé is an easy-drinking wine that is particularly good just after wiping the sweat from your brow.

The wines are a mark of Sonoma’s versatility but also of Bilbro’s awareness that not all outdoors-people double as wine connoisseurs. The wines are sourced from natural growers in California, and produced by Bilbro and his team in Sonoma County.

Revelshine makes sustainable wine in Sonoma County

revelshine drinking wine van

Photo: Revelshine

“For years, my wife had talked about alternative packaging, and we never really found a space or vessel that worked, so we kind of just created it,” Bilbro says of the aluminum bottles. “I think Revelshine was born of necessity. We offer a solution for folks who want to bring top-notch wine with them in a lightweight, indestructible, recyclable aluminum bottle.”

Claims of sustainability are a dime a dozen in 2021. Revelshine backs theirs up both in practice and in capital. The brand is a 1% for the Planet member where it gives one percent of its gross revenues to environmental causes. It also partners with Protect Our Winters and Changing Tides, environmental organizations advocating for the outdoors communities in the mountains and on the ocean, respectively. Bilbro and his team practice organic farming. And as mentioned above, the wine is packaged in aluminum bottles, which are more easily recycled than glass and nearly weightless to pack out with you once empty. Both the cap and bottle are recyclable.

Equally recyclable is canned beer, long the go-to for many outdoors athletes seeking a post-session beverage. Revelshine’s primary focus is to put easy-drinking wines into that same club. To do so, it has secured big-name athletes including POW founder Jeremy Jones, Selema Masekela, Emily Harrington, and Chris Davenport to act as ambassadors. This puts you in the same drinking club as the company’s athletes. It also means that if Harrington or Jones have a particularly intrepid day of hashtag following, they may be inclined to “like” your social media post proclaiming this affection.

Revelshine wines are currently available only via the company’s website. Plan to spend $15 per bottle; a three-pack runs $45, a six-pack is $90, and a 12-pack is $180. Buyers can mix-and-match varietiels. In the future, its wines may be available in retail locations in outdoors-centric markets. Until then, you can order via the website or join the Revelshine Collective, its version of a private wine club. 

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