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Delhi Wine Club
NZ to Screw(cap) Sparkling Wine

Posted: Saturday, 29 September 2012 10:42

NZ to Screw(cap) Sparkling Wine

September 29 : Kim Crawford of Marlborough, the winery which was the first to commercially release a New Zealand wine under screwcap has announced the launch of its First Pick Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from 1 October at the same price, using re-sealabilty, ease and speed of opening and safety factors as USP and not as a solution to the corking problem

The neighbouring cousins in Australia have been working with screw caps for sparkling wines with De Bortoli bringing it out earlier this year and Taylor of Claire Valley experimenting with it.  But it is the first time that New Zealand has announced screw-capping the sparkling wines with Kim Crawford announcing the launch of its bubbly, First Pick Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc  from 1 October.  Kim Crawford says the wine should retain its vibrant, fresh fruit flavours and its bubbles for days after opening.

It is being touted as more convenient closure to open and will result in longer lasting bubbly. Kim Crawford’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Rob Sinclair reportedly says that ease of opening and the safety factor are the compelling benefits.  Additionally, “the screw cap encourages moderation - if you know the wine will retain its bubbles, you’re probably more motivated to save some for later."  He adds, ‘the bottles can be more easily stored in the fridge because they can be laid down and are more portable because they won’t spoil in the chilly bin, for instance’.

The Indian sparkling wine producers may find it interesting to note that the unique closure system took five years to develop along with a glass company to ensure it was suited to traditional (Frizzante) or high pressure sparkling wines (Spumante-like champagne). Andrew Twiname from Guala Closures, the company that developed the screw-caps and supplies to producers like De Bortoli in Australia as well, says, "Consumers love it - this has been the case in Australia - because now they don't have to finish the bottle on one occasion" says "The bottle is easily resealable and the wine stays fresh and bubbly for days."

At the time of its launch in Australia, Simon Yudelevich, sales and marketing manager for Guala Closures Australia had said about these Viva closures, “Viva brings all the advantages a still wine screwcap has over cork firmly into the sparkling arena. It’s safe and easy to open and can be re-sealed without any damage to the quality of the fizz, which dramatically increases the opportunities for by-the-glass sales and drinking.”

The first Kim Crawford First Pick Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc with screw caps will appear nationwide on the finer NZ supermarket and retail shelves from mid-October 2012. There is no change to the recommended retail price of the wine at NZ $17.99 (Rs.790) including all taxes.

As reported earlier in delWine, this is not the first attempt at de-romanticizing the opening of a sparkling wine bottle. Some Australian producers have already introduced crown caps in place of cork for their sparkling wines, while others have been cautious due to the fear of loss of romance. Earlier this year, De Bortoli released two sparkling wines under the screwcap closure. Interestingly, Barossa-based winery Rusden Wines has switched back to cork after using screwcap for five years, deciding to bottle its entire range under cork as a result of quality control issues. Rusden winemaker Christian Canute said the company had lost customers because of the wines sweating under screwcap, producing dominant reductive characters and necessitating the about-turn.



Tim Edison Says:

Hey there, I was looking for some information about screw caps and the impact on wine, and stumbled upon your article at Just wanted to say I really enjoyed the article. I wasn't aware the the NZ producers had already switched to screwcaps for sparkling wine as well. Anyway, just thought I'd say hello. Thanks, Tim

Posted @ March 20, 2015 17:24


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