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These days, 99 bottles out of every 100 produced by Australian wineries are sealed with a screwcap and opened with ease with a simple twist.

Screwcaps for wine have only been widely used in Australia since 2000.

While cork has been the staple seal since the 18th century, flaws in the natural material have led to its decline, with Australia the first country to turn to the screwcap almost exclusively.

Cork taint – fungus that grows in the cork produces trichloroanisole (TCA), which can have a stomach-turning effect on the wine's taste and oxidization (too much oxygen in the wine), leading to decreased pigment and a loss of flavour and aromas. The result is reminiscent of vinegar.


It was a small band of winemakers in South Australia's Clare Valley who decided to experiment.

"We knew [cork's issues] were a problem we had to find a solution for," says Mitchell Taylor, a third-generation winemaker at Taylors Wines, who is now managing director of the wine group.

The success of the screwcap in Australia's wine industry spread the revolutionary sealing method to other countries.

"New Zealand and the UK have already followed Australia's lead by transitioning their wines from cork," says Mr Taylor. "And other countries like the US, China and winemaking countries in Europe are slowly catching up.“

Despite the success of the screwcap, cork remains the most common closure around the world due to the traditions of old-world winemakers in Italy and France, as well as the habits of their consumers.


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