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Champagne corks replaced by ‘revolutionary’ metallic top

A world-first metallic capsule that replaces traditional Champagne corks while preserving the traditional bottle-opening 'pop' is to be launched by Champagne house Duval-Leroy at the London International Wine Fair in May.

But details about the capsule, developed by Canadian firm Alcan Packaging and designed for future use across a broad range of sparkling wines, were being kept a close secret ahead of next month’s launch.

The device, described by Alcan as ‘revolutionary’, will first appear on a limited number of bottles of Duval-Leroy’s clos des Bouveries range to test market reaction.

A source at the family-owned Champagne house told decanter.com that the primary interest in the capsule was to avoid incidences of cork tainting. It will also be easier and safer to manipulate than traditional cork stoppers, but will retain their pop and splash drama, she confirmed.

Alcan Packaging, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Alcan, is already a major supplier of screwcaps for still wines, with its Stelvin aluminium stopper.

Manufacturers estimate screwcaps now account for about 15% of wine bottle closures worldwide.

Written by Graham Tearse

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