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Screwcaps: The Future?

Adam Lee of SiduriAdam Lee of Siduri is not only a terrific winemaker, but a relentless innovator (September 12, 2009) Adam Lee of Siduri is not only a gifted winemaker, but a relentless innovator. He's also amazingly generous with his time. I collared him for a few lines right before the full fury of crush struck. We spoke about what Siduri is doing with screwcaps. This is scarcely an interview, but as I scramble for time to revive this Website, hey, it'll do!

APJ: Question, Adam ─ you've been using screwcaps on some of your regional bottlings, a practice that I heartily endorse. What drives the decision to screwcap some wines and not others? Do you have a cutoff price-point, or is it something else? (By the way, congrats on your Sonoma County bottling getting awarded "Best American Pinot Noir under $20" by Food and Wine magazine. What took 'em so long to discover it! )

Adam: We've used screwcaps thus far on our Appellation wines, but it isn't a price point thing. We've got a number of customers that have been aging our single-vineyard Pinots for 5-7 years or perhaps more. We've been doing some trials on those wines, bottling them mainly under cork, but a few cases under screwcap to see how they do with more years. We are 3 years in and so far so good. With the Appellation wines, we seem to have far fewer folks aging them for more than 3+ years so we feel pretty good about going that way. Does that make sense?

APJ: Yes, it makes plenty of sense, but I also noticed that some of your appellation wines come with corks, and some with screwcaps?

Adam: Not any more. We did that trial as well for fewer years...just a couple. We were pleased, so now all appellation pinots are screwcaps.

APJ: So I take it that restaurants are okay with this?

Adam: With the screwcaps? Or with our gradual process of getting there? They seem to like the screwcaps.

APJ: I meant with the screwcaps. That's great news. If the sommeliers are okay with it, I would guess they'll educate the consumers.

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