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PlumpJack is Screw-Top Pioneer.

The good news is that PlumpJack Winery has pioneered the use of screw-top wine caps for premium wines for its 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve at $135 a bottle. The bad news is that they sold out the first weekend. Actually, that is great news for them and possibly for the wine industry itself as the first steps are taken to remove the stigma attached to screw tops, long associated with cheap "jug" wines. Of the 133 cases of the Reserve, half were bottled with traditional corks and half with the new screw tops. The wines were packaged in wooden boxes containing one bottle of each so consumers could compare taste and aging ability. At their Union Street area restaurant, PlumpJack Cafe, they are selling screw-top bottles for $10 more and doing very nicely. Waning cork supplies, ecological concerns, and cork taint, which accounts for spoilage of up to 7% of wines, are all reasons that have winemakers here and abroad looking more seriously at screw-top caps for high-quality wines. Recently, several Riesling producers from Australia's Clare Valley announced plans to use screw tops for all their wine. PlumpJack themselves are looking ahead and bottling 300 cases of their 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve with screw tops next year. Time will tell if wines, particularly those meant for long periods of aging, will benefit from the new technology, but clearly the horse has been let out of the barn. However, with screw tops in their infancy, and considering the amount of quality wine bottled throughout the world, it would be premature to throw out the corkscrews yet. For information about PlumpJack's wines, call 707-945-1220, or visit the Web site at www.plumpjack.com.

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Title Annotation:PlumpJack Winery
Publication:Gourmet Retailer
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Words:281
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