Why buck the aluminium screw cap trend?
December 21, 2007
The discerning person goes on to ask, “Why moving to cork when the trend is away from cork”
To which I answered: “Cork is a related question [to the animal protein question], because should we choose to bottle under aluminium we would probably also need to use fining agents, because wine under metal takes twice as long to soften in the bottle than wine under cork. It may also pick up reductive (as opposed to oxidised) character over time, but for wine made in an artifical “drink now” style through fining, screw cap is perfect. We use quality, sterilised cork because we beleive that 99% of our wines will be 100% better after two years or so and will drink even better up to 5 years from bottling.
There are many theories on the declining cork quality problem – bushfires in Portugal or demand for other uses (eg building insulation)- but I beleive that the move to aluminium due to lower quality cork is a self fulfilling prophesy. The reduced volumes being traded now have led to more difficulty in getting standardised quality, freshly made corks in Australia. Cork costs three times as much as aluminium, but produces infinitely less carbon, being a forest product. I think that changing closures for reasons of standardisation, cost and convenience over environment is a step backwards, but this view is not popular today. “