Horse trade | Kanaan swap corks for screw caps for its white wines

By Jim Boyce | Ningxia winery Kanaan, known for its Wild Pony, Pretty Pony and Black Beauty labels, has put its Riesling and semi-sweet Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc blend under screw cap. Owner Wang Fang, citing hesitation from hotel clients, says she will wait a year or two before adding the Wild Pony Cabernet-Merlot.

“It is my aim to use screw cap for the entry level wines,” said Wang.

Other wineries that are part of a growing movement toward screw cap include Helan Mountain, the Pernod Ricard project in Ningxia, and Nine Peaks in Shandong.

The industry’s biggest producer, Changyu, also has its Zenithwirl wine range from Xinjiang under screw cap. On a recent trip organized by the company, I tried the Italian Riesling, Rose, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in Yantai, all priced at rmb78.

Given the problems in China I have seen with corks, as well as how many consumers are unskilled with corkscrews, here’s hoping more wineries adopt alternative closures.

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