Uncorkings: Italian Wine Authorities Have Approved Screwcaps and Synthetic Corks on High-Quality Wines

Plus more news and notes from the world of wine and spirits.


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Italian wine authorities have approved the use of screwcaps and synthetic corks on higher quality Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wines. Despite the official approval, each denomination’s consortium will have the final say in deciding whether to modify its bottle-closure policy.

Sotheby’s auction house sold $2.3 million of wine in London on Wednesday, October 24, according to Bloomberg. A 12-bottle lot of 2000 Château Lafite Rothschild and a six-bottle lot of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 1997 Montrachet each fetched approximately $20,805. The third most expensive lot consisted of four bottles each of Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Haut-Brion and Château Pétrus from the 2000 vintage. It garnered about $19,860. 

Laura L. Jewell, MW, has been appointed chair of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), effective December 10. Jewell will become the first female to hold the position and will be the organization’s 13th chair in the WSET’s 43-year history. She earned her Master of Wine in 1997.

Woodinville, Washington-based wine company Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has posted volume and revenue growth in the third quarter of 2012. Compared to the same period in 2011, Ste. Michelle’s third-quarter shipments rose by 3.7% to 1.91 million cases; its revenue increased by 6.1% to $140 million.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a state-sponsored marketing campaign for New York’s wine, beer, cider and spirits producers, as well as a group of regulatory reforms aimed to reduce the producers’ business costs. Cuomo has pledged $1 million in advertising support, plus $2 million in matching funds, to help advertise the state’s 450 wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries.

Trinchero Family Estates, owner of Sutter Home Family Vineyards in St. Helena, California, has added two new wines—Pink Pinot Grigio and Red Moscato—to the Sutter Home brand portfolio. The Red Moscato is a blend of California Moscato and Merlot; the Pink Pinot Grigio is compared to an off-dry rosé. The Red Moscato is currently available at select retail stores across the U.S., and the Pink Pinot Grigio will become nationally available in November 2012.

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