Learning to love the screwtop wine bottle
By MICHAEL JOHNSON
BORDEAUX — Screwtop wine bottle closures have recently gained significant ground in New World wines and are now coming to Europe, like it or not.
In New Zealand, 90 percent of wine production is already screwcapped and making its way to market. Australia is at 60 percent, and California is not far behind. In Switzerland, nearly 100 percent is screwtopped.
Other producers – including a few French growers — are beginning to see the screwtop as the future.
Two-week screwtop trials have been carried out recently at Carrefour in Paris, Lille and Bordeaux, says Bruno de Saizieu, marketing and commercial director at Alcan Packaging Capsules, the main producer of the screwtop closure. The consumers were happy with the change but the distributors still aren’t sure, according to his research. Yet worldwide, he says, screwtop capping has expanded from 300 million bottles in 2003 to an estimated 2 billion bottles last year.