New Zealand closure survey

Predictably white wine producers embraced screwcaps fairly quickly. (Photo: Getty Images)

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more robust blended reds and syrah have a slightly higher number of cork supporters.I usually quote the now possibly out-of-date figure given to me by a wine bottle maker – 99.7% of all bottles they make are designed to accommodate screwcaps.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.

2006 2011 2016
SC Diam Cork SC Diam Cork SC Diam Cork
Sav Blanc 162 1 21 289 3 6 210 1 1
Pinot Gris 91 6 27 205 3 3 131 0 1
Riesling 139 1 10 172 1 1 82 1 1
Chardonnay 207 7 17 148 6 4 156 2 3
Pinot Noir 282 20 6 324 7 12 132 0 5
Syrah 45 5 20 43 3 4 13 0 2
Red Blends 53 16 15 54 5 8 8 0 0

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).

Observations

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