Return to the Goon — leading Central Otago winery to deliver premium pinot noir in a box


A staggering 27% of the carbon that is emitted from the craft of wine making comes not from the farming or running of tractors and other farm machinery but rather the production of the glass bottle with a further 13% being attributed to the shipping.Bearing this in mind, alternative packaging has been on the radar for winemaking brothers, James and Matt Dicey for a number of years. When they renamed and relaunched their existing wine brand in 2020, the new moniker, Dicey, they felt they finally had the right brand platform to be experimental.

Introducing Dice by Dicey — premium Pinot Noir in a Bag-in-Box.

Until now, wine delivered in bag-in-box packaging has rightly earned the reputation of being a lower quality, cheaper wine. Dicey Caretaker, as Matt Dicey likes to refer to his role of winemaking, argues that this doesn’t need to be the case. “A better way to buy wine shouldn’t mean you compromise on quality” citing the fact that bag-in-box packaging is a far better proposition for the environment as it drastically reduces the carbon footprint associated with glass bottle production and while Matt admits the Dicey boxed wine is not yet the perfect solution, he clarifies, “you can’t wait until it’s perfect. You have to get started with the technology that’s available now. It starts a conversation, gathers some momentum and means we’ll be ready to make improvements as the tech does get better.”

“Switching to wine in a box for the 97 percent of wines that are made to be consumed within a year would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about two million tons, or the equivalent of retiring 400,000 cars.” — Source, The New York Times, Drink Outside the Box

Dice by Dicey won’t be a cheap alternative to their current core range and that’s very much the point.

“The wine in the Dice has been made with the same care and focus that we give to all our wines. The grapes harvested are either in conversion for organic certification with BioGro NZ or sustainably certified. The wine was fermented in small format open top tanks, with 16% whole bunch usage, aged in French oak barrels with 16% new wood. The wine was unfined but filtered, as with all our wines this wine was produced so that it is vegan friendly.” Matt states.

He also adds, “we feel there’s a better focus on wine consumption here too. This is not a cheap offering of wine that is to be smashed willy-nilly. It’s the opposite. You’ll be paying for premium Pinot where you can enjoy that one lovely glass with dinner and perhaps not have another one until later that week or the next.”

Dice by Dicey will offer that ability with bag-in-box wine reportedly keeping the wine vibrant far longer than a conventional glass bottle once the wine is opened.

“The wine will stay fresh when opened for three to four weeks in this format” explains Matt, “meaning you can take your time and savour it.” Indeed the copy on the physical box does instruct users to “kick back and enjoy slowly in moderation.”

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