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International Screwcap Initiative founded

The New Zealand Screwcap Initiative is going global - and they are now training their sights on the world's red wines.

The International Screcap Initiative (ISI) is an extension of the activities of the New Zealand Screwcap Initiative, a loose affiliation of quality producers who banded together in 2002 to promote the benefits of the closure.

While the screwcap movement has proved popular in the New World, particularly in New Zealand and Australia, producers elsewhere have been more resistant to the idea.

‘Being a pioneer can be lonely,’ said ISI coordinator Lorraine Carrigan. ‘The International Screwcap Initiative will allow members to lean on one another and to learn from their combined experience.’

The first signatory to the ISI is Chablis’ Michel Laroche, who takes on the role of the organisation’s European representative. Laroche has been at the forefront of the move towards screwcaps in France: all his Domaine Laroche wines are now sealed this way, including (from 2004 onwards) his top wine, the Reserve de l’Obedience.

‘We’re now in discussion with a number of other producers across Europe,’ said Carrigan, ‘and once we’ve got the ball rolling there, we’re going to start talking to producers around the rest of the world.’

Carrigan also said the ISI will not be restricting their activities to producers of white wines alone.

‘People associate screwcaps with white wines more easily than they do with red wines, so publicising the fact that they can be used to good effect with reds is the next task.’

‘This is a unique opportunity to get all these people working together to explain to buyers and consumers alike why they’re using screwcaps,’ says the ISI’s chairman, Kumeu River’s Michael Brajkovich MW.

Written by Natasha Hughes

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