New Zealand closure survey
I’m frequently asked what percentage of NZ wines now use screwcaps.
Most pinot noir makers have now abandoned corks, although the more robust blended reds and syrah have a slightly higher number of cork supporters.I usually quote the now possibly out-of-date figure given to me by a wine bottle maker – 99.7% of all bottles they make are designed to accommodate screwcaps. However, the high-volume producers, who inevitably use screwcaps, distort the picture slightly.
I have now raided my database of 26,252 wines tasted over more than a decade to arrive at the following breakdown of wines by type and main closure over three vintages.
Syrah and red blends from 2016 are under-represented because the wines are mostly released later than whites and pinot noir (I have about 40 syrah, mostly from 2016, waiting to be reviewed).
- Predictably white wine producers embraced screwcaps fairly quickly. Most pinot noir makers have now abandoned corks, although the more robust blended reds and syrah have a slightly higher number of cork supporters.
- Diam doesn’t appear to be making much headway with only 4 users out of 749 in the 2016 vintage. It is possible that I have made an error when I entered the data, but the four wines from 2016 sealed with a screwcap according to my records are Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, Te Mata Elston Chardonnay, Johanneshof Riesling and Mission Jewelstone Chardonnay.
- Churton Sauvignon Blanc is the only example from the 2016 to use a cork closure; Dry River rely on cork to preserve, or perhaps enhance, quality in their pinot gris, Craighall Riesling and Chardonnay. Tantalus and Poderi Crisi, both from Waiheke Island, used cork to seal their 2016 Chardonnays.