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Allegrini abandons DOC over screwcap ban

Italian producer Allegrini has pulled out of the Valpolicella Classico denomination over frustration at not being allowed to bottle its wines under screwcap.

The estate’s Valpolicella Classico will now be known simply as Valpolicella because it wants to use the closure known as Stelvin

‘We have been waiting for the regulations in Valpolicella Classico to be amended so that we could use screwcaps on this wine,’ said winemaker Franco Allegrini.

‘But they haven’t, so we have decided to pull out of Classico. The closure is more important to us than the denomination.’

While the company had not experienced abnormally high levels of cork taint, it felt that Stelvin helped to retain freshness better than either natural or synthetic cork. Demand from the UK and other markets for screwcapped wines had also prompted the move.

David Gleave MW, managing director of Allegrini’s importer Liberty Wines, said progressive Italian producers who saw the benefits of screwcaps were now being “held back” by regulation.

‘We fully support Allegrini’s decision,’ he said. ‘In our opinion, Italy’s tardiness in adopting this new technology is having an adverse effect on the competitiveness of its wines in the UK market.’

Gleave said he did not know of any other producers who had pulled out of the Classico denomination.

‘But I’m sure, as in other zones, that others will follow suit once a producer of Allegrini’s prominence takes the lead.’

Nobody from the Valpolicella Consorzio was available for comment.

Written by Richard Woodard

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