International collaborative closure trial opens doors

Tuesday, 15 September, 2009


The wine industry’s first international collaborative commercial closure trial has been bottled, giving the international wine industry new evidence regarding the performance of major closure types, including natural and synthetic cork as well as screw caps.

Bottled in August, the Collaborative Closure Trial brings together closure manufacturers and wine companies for the first time, with the wineries and their suppliers sharing the costs and data from the trial.

“A significant number of global wineries and closure manufacturers are taking part in the trial under commercial arrangements,” said Dr Terry Lee, project convenor.

“It offers a cost-effective and time-efficient alternative to in-house trials, which can lead to a great deal of duplication of effort and expense. It is the first time that several prominent, international wine industry companies and suppliers have pooled their collective experience and partnered to develop the concept of a pre-competitive, commercial closure trial.”

“The international companies who are participating have designed the trial and shared their knowledge and expertise to ensure that the trial is an efficient and effective tool to help them make commercial decisions about closure options. The results will help them to identify the most effective closure to meet their needs.”

The trial will subject nine closure types to physical, chemical and sensory testing over 24 months, with optional additional testing at 36 months. Results will be available to participants under industry-standard terms of strict confidentiality.

Darren Oemcke, CEO at Provisor, is encouraged by the successful bottling from this first collaborative closure trial. “We feel that this innovative approach to evaluating closure performance will provide a model that the industry can apply in a number of areas to tackle critical issues”.

Australian winemaker and technical consultant Peter Leske will oversee critical aspects of the trial. Project management is being performed by Provisor, technical and engineering consultants to the Australian wine industry, who were the successful tenderers to conduct the trial.

“This significant trial will give closure manufacturers the information they need to continue to improve their products and will give wineries objective information so they know which closures work best for their products,” said Lee.

“The trial offers very significant value for much less than the cost of a standard in-house trial.”

Wineries can still register by contacting Dr Terry Lee at terry.lee@ejgallo.com.

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