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Italy approves synthetic corks for DOC, DOCG

Italian authorities approved the use of synthetic corks and screwcaps on higher quality DOC and DOCG wines for the first time.

The move opens a new front in the highly-charged wine industry debate on closures.

Synthetic cork producer Nomacorc is already plotting ways to dent the dominance of natural corks in DOC and DOCG wines.

“We’ve effectively been blocked from 30 per cent of the market, so it’s huge,” said Nomacorc’s CEO, Lars von Kantzow.

“It’s not like winemakers are waiting in line for the day they can buy Nomacorc. Although, in some cases, this is the case. Some will still use natural cork, but at least now we can go to them. Before, it wasn’t worth our while.”

Caldirola, producer of Barbera D’Asti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and Chianti among others, confirmed it is interested in taking advantage of the new rule.

Silvia Fiorentini, marketing manager for the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, said individual denominations still have the final say on closures.

“Certainly it will not be possible to use alternative corks or screwcaps without a formal change of our production code,” she said. “The Consorzio is open to taking it into consideration.”

Nomacorc is the world’s second biggest wine closure producer, selling around 2.4bn synthetic corks annually, behind natural cork maker Amorim, which sells just over 3bn closures per year. ( http://Decanter.com )

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