Top news: Grace to use screw caps on entry-level red

Shanxi-based Grace Vineyard has been experimenting with screw caps for several years and has decided to use them for its entry-level red, says CEO Judy Leissner. Grace’s entry-level red retails for ~rmb60 and the first screw cap bottles should be out next February or March. The national distributor is Torres China.

Treaty Port, an operation — complete with castle — in Shandong that produces both its own wine and bottles imported bulk wine, is already using screw caps. Treaty Port owner Chris Ruffle was in Beijing last month and said there were some early challenges with screw caps but that these closures provided consistency.

No doubt there will be some market resistance, given the number of consumers who reflexively associate wine with cork and the hotels, restaurants, etc that serve them, but such moves could inspire more quality in the industry. I have already noted some issues here: Grace’s new twist on wine: Is China at its screw cap moment?

And we do see more and more screw caps in China. They just happen to be on imported wines, which make up a small minority of the market. Even so, these wines — and those from Treaty Port and, soon, Grace Vineyard — are making screw caps more familiar.

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