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In a busy room, a hand holds a glass of red wine in front of the camera. It also holds a napkin embossed with “1962 Ridge Vineyards,” and a list of notable events from that year.
Unkegging Ridge Vineyards at Sixty Vines.
Sixty Vines

Sixty Vines Will Offer One of California’s Finest Vineyards on Tap for the First Time

Kegging wine reduces the amount of packaging waste and transportation emissions

Courtney E. Smith is the editor of Eater Dallas. She's a journalist of 20 years who was born and raised in Texas, with bylines in Pitchfork, Wired, Esquire, Yahoo!, Salon, Refinery29, and more. When she's not writing about food, she co-hosts the podcast Songs My Ex Ruined.

There are 26 bottles of wine in one keg, according to Sixty Vines CEO Jeff Carcara. And, true to its name, the wine bar always has 60 kegs of wine on tap.

Kegging wine is nothing new. Carcara recalls seeing it for the first time in South Florida back in 1999. “It was inexpensive house wine. It was meant to be a way to get a better price for a glass of wine, and for years that’s where kegging languished,” he says. It wasn’t until later, when co-founder Randy DeWitt noticed the waste caused by wine bottles at the Ranch in Las Colinas, that Sixty Vine’s vision for a wine bar with a gentler environmental footprint began to come into focus.

Carcara says that reducing waste has been in the back of his mind throughout his career. “What can we do with all these bottles?,” he wondered. At the seven Sixty Vines locations in the Plano and Dallas in Texas, Winter Park and Boca Raton in Florida, The Woodlands and Rice Village in Houston, Nashville, and Charlotte, an average of 315 kegs are consumed per week. Kegging saves around 8,000 bottle a week, and some 425,880 bottles per year, according to a representative for Sixty Vines.

Stainless steel kegs of wine are stacked on top fo each other. Each is labeled as holding Three Valleys wine from Ridge Vineyards.
Kegs and kegs of Three Valleys by Ridge Vineyards are going on top at Sixty Vines.
Sixty Vines

The exact carbon footprint of a bottle of wine varies depending on what fertilizers are used to cultivate the grapes, if they were picked by hand or using machines, if the vineyard uses renewable energy or not, how far it is transported, even what color glass and how heavy the bottles are. But a better method seemed to be hiding in plain sight: kegging.

When it opened in 2016, DeWitt and co-founders hired consulting winemakers to create kegged wines for them. But when Carcara took over as CEO in 2020, he wanted to bring known wines from notable vineyards. The problem was that very few of those places were kegging wine. So Carcara and his Sixty Vines team began personally visiting more well-known vineyards and pitching them on kegging — just for the restaurant. Their latest big get is Ridge Vineyards, which grows in two locations in Northern California. The vineyard, founded in the ’60s, is committed to sustainability and organic and biodynamic growing and production methods. And wine lovers know it as one of the California vineyards to best French-grown wines in the “Judgment of Paris,” a 1976 blind taste test. Ridge initially declined the proposal to keg its wine, but Carcara says it “planted a seed.” Nearly three years later they sealed that exclusive deal.

A tasting room and restaurant with white balls and mossy green tiles is photographed. In close relief is one table set with menus, wine glasses, water glasses made from wine bottles, napkins, and plates.
Upcycled wine bottles dot the tables at Sixty Vines, in a new life as water glasses.
Sixty Vines

Ridge’s head winemaker, John Olney, tried the first kegged glass of his wine in a May un-kegging at Sixty Vines in Uptown. “He looked at it, and tasted it, and was like, ‘Yeah, that’s Ridge,’” Carcara says.

The choice of which varietal to keg was Ridge’s, Carcara says — the vineyard specializes in cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, and chardonnay. “They’re taking grapes from all over their single vineyards that may be a little young, and it’s 65 percent zinfandel, a small percentage of petite syrah, and a little bit of alicante bouschet.” Far from an entry-level wine, and what Carcara’s describing is something one could find for up to $200 a bottle on the finer wine lists around Dallas. At Sixty Vines, you can try the Three Valleys from Ridge with a 2.5-ounce pour for $10 or commit with 6- and 8-ounce pours at $20 and $30, respectively, or a full bottle for $98.

A white wall holds keg taps of wines, all marked with a marker listing the type and stickers with the brand and vineyard.
Wines on tap at Sixty Vines.
Sixty Vines

Sixty Vines is launching a partnership with Sesenta Cava on the weekend of June 25, thanks to an exclusive partnership with New York’s Olé & Obrigado, an importer of Spanish and Portuguese grapes and a carbon-neutral winemaker.

The bar has also found opportunities to upcycle the many bottles on hand in other ways. “They’re either turned into glassware, turned into candles, or turned into the bottles used to pour water,” Carcara says.

While what’s in the glass is the most important thing to customers, Carcara has been watching the bottles and thinking about how to eliminate waste for his entire career, he says. “We want relevance to the kegging world. I believe kegs are the best way to drink wine by the glass. Consumers don’t want wine to be unapproachable. This is pinkies down drinking, come in and try anything on the wall. At the end of the day, it’s great juice.”

Correction: Thursday, June 22, 9:47 a.m.: This story has been updated throughout to correct CEO Jeff Carcara’s name.

Sixty Vines

2540 University Boulevard, , TX 77005 (281) 800-8808 Visit Website
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