Page 12 - Grapevine NovDec 2020
P. 12

In The Winery

               per 1000 pieces. Screwcap choices include factors    sheets is important. Taking the time to match this
               like liner choice, finish, decoration and sometimes   information with bottle drawings and finish ensures
               specific knurling needs that influence their price   fit and performance.”
               point. Their pricing runs between $85 to $200 per
               1000 pieces, depending on those factors.”                             Put a Cork in It

                 “Pricing is certainly a factor when choosing clo-    Cork is the traditional and most popular choice for
               sures, but it’s usually not the only factor,” said   wine closures, especially for those wines that age
               Bobbi Stebbins, Director of Marketing at Waterloo    well. Cork is a natural and sustainable product with
               Container Company, a premier supplier of wine        an innate ability to swell and form a tight seal with-
               bottles, caps, corks and closures to eastern North   in the wine bottle neck, thereby only allowing a
               America. “It’s important to let your packaging pro-  minimal amount of oxygen transfer over extended
               vider know upfront what the important determin-      periods of time. And now, thanks to modern pro-
               ing factors are in your closure choices, including   cessing, risk of the dreaded cork taint has virtually
               things like recyclability or where products are man-  disappeared.
               ufactured. Knowing these factors upfront can help
               narrow down your closure choices. Manufacturing        When it comes to cost, natural cork runs the
               processes and standards are not the same from        gamut. Punched, or high-grade natural cork, has
               product to product or from country to country, so    the highest price point, while other options like an
               we can filter down your closure options and limit    agglomerated natural cork can have the lowest. As
               them to the available product options that you will   a natural product, cork can have many variations
               be proud to have associated with your brand.”        that must be accounted for in its use as a closure.

                 Both Stebbins and Thomas agree that a skilled        Synthetic cork is a popular, cost-effective alterna-
               and experienced winemaker will usually know what  tive. It’s more predictable than natural cork when it
               they want in a closure based on their brand charac-  comes to performance over the long run. However,
               teristics, identity, price point and winery’s bottling   it can include petroleum-based ingredients that
               equipment. On the other hand, newer crafters         may not be sustainable or recyclable and, if left
               may have no idea where to begin when faced           in the bottle for too long, can impart a detectable
               with such a vast selection of closures and options.   aroma, according to some wine professionals.
               Both Janson Capsule and Waterloo Container offer
               experienced, qualified customer service to provide                  Wine With a Twist
               suggestions if needed. Janson Capsules will work
               directly with a company’s marketing and purchas-       “It’s true that corks are still the most requested
               ing departments to find the best closure solutions.   closure amongst our customers,” said Stebbins.
               Waterloo Container Company employs a closure         “But skirted screw caps have jumped from 19% to
               specialist to ensure that the products sold will work  36% of our closure sales over the past four years.
               well with each other functionally while providing    We feel that’s due to the skirted screw caps being
               consistency in brand recognition.                    well suited to the shorter timespan from produc-
                                                                    tion to consumption of popular East Coast varietals,
                 Kenny Hall, Waterloo Container’s purchasing and    including Rieslings and other sweeter white vari-
               closure specialist, told The Grapevine Magazine      etals.”
               that Waterloo Container offers every type of clo-
               sure a winemaker could need, with over 500 SKUs        Similar opinions prevail on the West Coast, with
               and over 50 million closures in stock. He said when   Thomas telling The Grapevine Magazine that,
               choosing the appropriate closure for your bottle     “Screwcaps are great for spirits but also increas-
               and project, attention to detail is critical. “Every   ingly popular for white wines like Sauvignon Blanc
               closure is designed to fit with a specific bottle finish  and the lighter Pinot Noirs. Oregon winemakers are
               and product, so referencing closure technical data   using them more and more frequently.”

               Page 10                      The Grapevine • November - December 2020                           877-892-5332

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