Grace Vineyard has a new wine and it features the rare use, at least in China, of screw caps — see here for another example in Treaty Port.
First, the wine: it is called Tao Fu and, says CEO Judy Leissner, “refers to the peach wood charms hung on doors during the New Year” and that are thought to repel evil spirits. It is also a family affair: the script on the bottle’s side was written by Leissner’s daughter.
Made solely from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, Tao Fu is light and fruity, with the spirit of a Beaujolais Nouveau to it. I found aromas of candy apple and sponge toffee; other comments ranged from cherry to banana. It is a bit of an experiment, with only 2,000 bottles, and may ultimately join the portfolio. I was lucky enough to be a dinner where a bottle was opened.
As for the screw cap, I have talked to Leissner several times over the past few years about this closure and she says it is much harder to use than people might imagine. As examples, she cites the difficulty of proper calibration, that most screw cap knowledge in China relates to beverages other than wine and might not fully apply, and the sourcing of material — in this case, the bottles are from China and the screw caps are imported. And that doesn’t even include cost.
Anyway, it was fun to not only try a new label but also to see some scrap caps on a wine made in China. What I’m really looking forward is to being able to pick up such wines in a shop or supermarket. Hopefully, that day isn’t too far off…
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