Pewsey Vale Vineyard
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After 20 years under cork, Pewsey Vale Riesling will revert to screw-cap in 2003.

14 July 2003

Over the years, Pewsey Vale has invested a considerable amount of time in researching the effectiveness of different wine seals.  This work dates from our early trials that led to the adoption of the Stelcap in 1970 and then the Stelvin closure in the late 70s through to current research on the use of Stelvin closures on several premium Riesling wines today. 

Pewsey Vale was instrumental in the introduction of the Stelvin closure in the 1970’s.  Peter Wall, Pewsey Vale’s then-winemaker, approached LBM (La Bouchage Mechanique – the company responsible for the development of Stelvin) in 1964 about an alternative sealing system for wine bottles.  Peter almost single-handedly drove the development of the Stelvin closure which subsequently was used to seal Pewsey Vale Riesling.

While the wine industry was excited about the screw-cap, wine consumers were not as accepting and Pewsey Vale Riesling reverted back to cork in 1984.  It was not until 1995 that a small parcel of Pewsey Vale Riesling was again closed under screw-cap.  This parcel was released as Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling in 2000 as a five-year-old cellar aged wine.  The concept will continue for the foreseeable future with small exceptional parcels of Pewsey Vale Riesling sealed under screw-cap and cellared in the museum for future release as aged wines.

“We also seal a small proportion of the museum wines under cork”, explains Louisa Rose, Pewsey Vale’s Winemaker.  “The philosophy behind the programme is to see the ageing effects of different closures on Riesling and the comparison is remarkable.   “With cork you will find increased bottle variation and possibly random oxidisation or cork-taint.  With screw-cap it is apparent that the Riesling has aged slowly with variables eliminated.  Delicious toasty characteristics are present with good varietal flavour and consistency between bottles.  Screw-cap is a wonderful seal for ensuring great bottle ageing of appropriate aromatic whites, especially Riesling.  It offers the perfect environment for Riesling, providing consistency and not allowing oxygen to influence the wine”, says Louisa. 

After years of observation and witnessing the increasing demand for screw-cap closures Pewsey Vale will release the 2003 Riesling under a Stelvin closure.  Offering delicacy and finesse, with intense lemon and lime characters, this wine will be available in liquor stores throughout August 2003.  For any further information, please send us an e-mail

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