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Five minutes with Mickaël Alborghetti

Published:  04 May, 2021

The co-founder of ethical Bordeaux wine distributor Ethic Drinks, grandson of a Burgundian winegrower and son of an environmental activist, tells Lisa Riley the story of the start-up

For a while I had been wondering how to make the wine business more considerate of the environment and following a 2019 trip to Bali, where I was shocked by the amounts of plastic deposited on beaches, I quit my job in the Cahors wine business to create Ethic Drinks with my wife, Camille.

The idea has always been to make the wine world more innovative and more responsible; to maximise sustainability at every step of the wine journey.

Reflecting the thirst for sustainable wine in all its shapes and forms, including organic and vegan and those with the lowest environmental impact across logistics, transport and packaging, we have already grown to become the leading green wine merchant in France, employing eight people and with a turnover of €400,000 in 2020.

Importantly, limiting the environmental footprint of our corporation doesn’t mean limiting quality. Quite the opposite – we have fantastic organic wines that do good for the planet and sell at attractive prices.

A 10% increase in the consumption of organic wine in 2020 allowed us to weather the Covid-19 storm, with organic growers keen to work with us because we embrace sustainability in every part of our supply chain.

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 €1m turnover this year, the challenge is as bold as it is worthwhile.