Stelvin makes comeback

AFTER an experimentation period 20 years ago, the screw top wine bottle is back in WA.

Sandalford’s new winemaker, Paul Boulden, has overseen the bottling of his first vintage, which includes the use of the top, known as a stelvin closure, for the 2001 riesling.

Mr Boulden (pictured right)said he had travelled to Adelaide for the bottling because it could not be done in WA, a situation he believed would change as acceptance grew.

The stelvin is seen as a way of fighting taint from natural corks, although it lacks the romance of the traditional stopper.

“The closure is mainly used on riesling because, as a fruit driven and aromatic style of wine, any degree of cork taint is more easily noticed,” he said.

“There are still marketing issues to be canvassed in regard to not pulling a cork out of a bottle.”

Apart from its use in smaller bottles in the likes of the airline and hotel industries, WA Wine Industry Association vice-president Bill Mackey said WA wineries had shied away from the stelvin because of this perceived lack of consumer appeal.

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