No longer a fashionable trend, but rather an essential way of life. That’s the holistic approach to sustainability driving the brand message of newly established SA wine brand less. It blends image and substance in a premium, sustainable wine offering for the mindful buyer, at a time when consumers worldwide are leveraging their purchasing power to demand greater ethical responsibility and transparency from companies and brands. Vastly experienced communications and PR consultant and less owner, Marlene Truter, recognised the pressing need of ethically conscious consumers to effect positive change in supply chains through their purchasing decisions.

And so less was born to meet this thirst for premium sustainable wines. Sustainability and related ethical and environmental practices in the wine industry impact every aspect of the value chain – from the agricultural practices that direct vineyard management, working conditions and social welfare of farm workers, to winemaking, energy usage, packaging and transport. This awareness motivated less to take a holistic approach to its procurement practices from grape to bottle to table.

The brand name less and minimalistic packaging are simply an extension of the brand essence – premium wines made with minimal intervention and using sustainable methods. While generating less waste was a non-negotiable in the production and packaging processes, the impact of logistics also warranted scrutiny. Locally manufactured, lightweight glass wine bottles are used that offer environmental and commercial benefits to all the stakeholders in the supply chain from brand owners, fillers, shippers to consumers without compromising on quality, ensuring less carbon footprint, less transportation costs and less overall consumption of resources.

Every bottle is sealed with a zero-carbon-footprint bio cork made from plant-based polymers using 100% renewable energy and minimal water. Paperless labels are another sustainable innovation, with labels printed on responsibly sourced 100% cotton linters. And that’s not all, outer packaging is stripped to the bare minimum, leaving the consumer with less waste and less environmental impact.

less‘ commitment to sustainability, however, starts with the raw product. Grapes are sourced from producers that have adopted sustainable agricultural practices, which maximise productivity while minimising environmental damage, as well as fair labour practices. What’s more, their credibility is endorsed by several industry-leading certifications.

The less product portfolio currently consists of an unwooded, medium-bodied Chardonnay 2021. Priced at R90 per bottle, it brims with crisp citrus aromas and flavours, complemented by a creamy mouthfeel. A versatile food partner, it pairs well with light fish dishes and shellfish, salads, charcuterie and soft cheeses.

In the red corner there’s the beautifully balanced Pinotage 2020 at R160 per bottle. This full-bodied, oak-matured wine shows luscious black and red fruit upfront with sweet tobacco and oak nuances that linger on the palate. It is an excellent complement for red meat and game, hearty vegetables and strong-flavoured cheeses. Drink it now, or let it continue to age well for 10-12 years from vintage.

These carefully-curated wines meet the highest local standards for ethical certification and traceability. Equally important is that they offer the discerning wine consumer a wholly satisfying sensory experience without the unwanted environmental and social impact.

For wine lovers looking to walk the ethical consumerism talk, it is a must-have brand in the shopping cart. less wines can now be ordered online at