Always an innovator when it comes to packaging Sutter Home Winery of St. Helena CA has done it again. Among its newly designed bottles for its "core line" of varietals is a 750-mL White Zinfandel bottle that represents one of the first narrow-neck press-and-blow bottles in the world for traditional long cork applications. Because press-and-blow technology permits better in-mold control of molten glass than blow-and-blow less glass can be used. Thus the 15-oz flint bottle now used for White Zinfandel is 2.5 to 3 oz lighter than its emerald green predecessor. The bottle comes from Owens-Brockway (Toledo OH). The key to press-and-blow glass-making technology and the reason it allowed Sutter Home to lightweight its bottle is that it produces bottles with greater uniformity in wall thickness compared to conventional blow-and-blow bottles. That translates into greater strength which in turn means less material and reduced costs. Press-and-blow has been used for wide-mouth glass containers since the '30s. But only in the last 10 years or so have commercial glass manufacturers perfected this technology to produce narrow-neck beer and spirits packages. And until Sutter Home's White Zinfandel bottle emerged from its mold at Owens-Brockway's Oakland plant last year no one had been as successful at using press-and-blow to make a narrow-neck bottle for a corkage application. At least not in Sutter Home-type quantities. To understand this sequence of technological advancements it helps to review the fundamental differences between the two glass manufacturing methods. With blow-and-blow once the "gob" of molten glass is in the parison mold compressed air is blown into the mold to force the glass down into the finish area; this is called the "settle blow." At this point the bottle finish is complete. Then air is blown up through the finish in what's called the "counterblow" to expand the glass upward in a long narrow preform or parison. The parison is removed from the parison mold and held by the finish as it is rotated right-side-up and placed in the blow mold. Air forces the glass to conform to the shape of the mold. All that remains is annealing coating and cooling and the bottle is done.