BOXT wine Founder Sarah Puil took her love of fine wine and created a way for everybody to get a taste. Regardless of their budget.
Photos courtesy of BOXT
To say Sarah Puil is a fan of fine wine would be understatement. Her global travels in her 20s opened her mind to the flavors she was missing back home. One thing she realized, however, is that the finest wines were never meant for the elite. The finest thing about this wine was that everyone was able to fill their glasses. In 2019, she founded BOXT with one vision. To both explore her passion for wine and give everyone the same experience.
No fancy labels,Sara Puil, BOXT founder
no wine snobbery,
just exceptionally good house wine,
Tell us a bit about what made you want to start BOXT wines?
I was sitting in a cafe in Paris with my husband talking about how easy it is, in Europe, to go to someone’s home or sit in a cafe and find yourself drinking a great glass of house wine. We don’t have that here in the States. Restaurants have a hundred wines on their list. Stores have hundreds of wines on the shelves. And you don’t know if you’re going to like what you order or what you buy, because it’s so overwhelming. Even if you know wine. I wanted to simplify the way we all think about, talk about and drink wine here in the States. And especially how we drink wine at home.
Your manifesto is pretty clear that you are trying to minimize your environmental impact. Firstly, why is this such an important mission for you and BOXT?
I was born here in Texas and went to St. Stephens as a boarding student for high school. After high school I went to university in San Francisco, where I spent most of my adult life. Both towns, Austin and San Francisco, place such an emphasis on the environment and being in nature that it’s naturally a part of who I am.
Was there something in your travels that made you realize that winemaking isn’t always environmentally friendly?
This ties back into your previous question. It’s not so much a single place as a bigger issue of climate change. Climate, rain, salt air, sun, heat, severe weather changes. These all affect all life on the planet, and they affect the grapes. Climate change, and helping to halt it, is one of the bigger issues in the wine community. Winemakers don’t just love drinking wine. We love the entire world of wine: the land, the culture, the history, the process. All of this is tied closely to climate and region. As an industry we need to hold ourselves responsible for not only halting climate change, but working to reverse it where we can.
How are you taking strides to ensure that your sourcing and making processes are environmentally safe?
We get to know all of our sourcing partners closely and develop personal relationships with them, learn about how they process their grapes and create their wines.
How do you believe (if you do believe at all) the winemaking industry can become more sustainable for the future?
I do believe that, and it is happening all around us. For sure. Wineries are rethinking canopy management, composting, recycling and reusing water and other valuable resources. Reducing CO2 emissions, using renewable energy sources, increasing biodiversity on their land and helping pollinators and birds. There are so many things the industry can and is doing to become more environmentally sustainable.
What’s your ultimate goal with BOXT Wine?
I want to change the way people think about and drink wine at home. Want everyone to feel comfortable liking what they like and not be concerned about varieties, labels, trends or what someone else likes to drink. I want to simplify the conversation from varietals to taste experience. Wine is meant to be enjoyed, and there is so much that is overwhelming about wine and wine speak. I just want to stop all that and give people an excellent glass of wine, on tap, that they know they’re going to love every single time they sip, without the hassle.
1. Top wine for ushering in summer
Our new rosé, which is launching on Rosé Day on June 12! Or Balletto Vineyards’ 2015 Sparkling Brut Rosé. Balletto is a great sustainable winery. The owner composts all of the grape pomace (the leftovers from pressing) and tills it back into the soil the next year. They’ve been making sustainable wine in CA since the late ’70s.
2. Top dessert wine (because so many of us have picked up baking since being in Mother Nature Timeout)
Well, of course, I love our Profiles Three and Six. Those are our sweeter wines. But I also love Ponzi Vino Gelato. Ponzi vineyards have been around for nearly 50 years now. They’re a family-run winery and a leader in sustainable winemaking. Also, my husband is from Vancouver, Canada, and he introduced me to Icewine. If you haven’t had it…oh my, it’s delicious. One of my favorite wineries making Icewine is called Mission Hill in the Okanagan.
3. Best wine for a picnic
We like to say that BOXT is your new house wine, and that’s what it’s intended for. Picnics are for bottles. I love 2017 Smith & Hook Proprietary Red Blend from Hahn wines, another sustainable winery in California.