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Hi Tech Closure To Allow Influence Of Wine Quality

MEDIA RELEASE

Diam Hi Tech Closure’s Two Year Success Now Aims To Allow Winemakers To Influence Wine Quality

Spencer Hill Estate bottles half a million wines under Diam without one reported return

Auckland, New Zealand, 3 October, 2006 – “Cork taint” (TCA), bottle variation, and leakage are persistent post-bottling problems facing New Zealand winemakers. This month marks two years local wineries have been using a unique high-tech composite cork closure that has solved these critical issues, the closure Diam.

Over 34% of New Zealand wineries are using or trialing Diam closures since its introduction to New Zealand in 2004 by Newpro Packaging. This figure represents a 38% growth in the number of wineries using Diam since this time last year. Sixteen New Zealand wineries use Diam exclusively. One of these wineries, Spencer Hill Estate, has now bottled over half a million bottles of wine under Diam without any reported problems with the closure.

While celebrating two years of success, Wayne Edwards looking ahead said, ““When we introduced Diam as a solution to TCA the wine industry was somewhat skeptical and certainly cautious. Now two years on and with no confirmed incidences if TCA, winemakers can focus on Diam’s potential as a tool that extends their reach into the post bottling development of their products.

“Over the next two years Diam’s technology will allow us to provide a range of permeabilities so that winemakers can select a level specific to the type and style of wine they want to deliver to the consumer. This is truly ground breaking for the wine industry.”


Diam is manufactured from finely-ground cork flour treated by the patented Diamant process, which uses supercritical CO2 to eradicate the causes of “cork taint”, 2, 4, 6-TCA and other contaminants. The closure aims to eliminate taint problems, preserve freshness and flavour, and allow controlled and predictable bottle development.

Spencer Hill Estate’s success with Diam

Tasman Bay winery Spencer Hill Estate, whose premium wines are exported to nine countries, was one of the first wineries to use Diam in New Zealand. It has now bottled over half a million wines using Diam.
Spencer Hill was searching for a wine closure that eliminated problems with cork taint and bottle variation. Previously, natural cork had been used to seal the winery’s production, without complete success.

“At that time, many New Zealand winemakers were embracing the screwcap as the solution to winemaking problems,” said Philip Jones, owner of Spencer Hill Estate. “We were being pressured to use screwcaps, but hesitated as we realised that screwcaps had problems with reductive wines.”

After reading about Diam in a journal and receiving samples Mr Jones committed to going with Diam. “We took a chance on Diam, but it had excellent research backing up its results," he said. “Our commitment has paid off, with no reports in the two years related to Diam. With Diam we have progressed with our wine quality and not had worry about closures any further.”

New Zealand winemakers switching to Diam

Other New Zealand users of Diam affirm its effectiveness. John Hancock, owner and winemaker at Trinity Hill Wines in Hawke’s Bay said, “We don’t believe that there is one solution to all closure issues. However, we do now use 100% Diam for our red wines. The big thing for us is consistency from bottle to bottle. We are confident that each bottle we open under Diam will be in pristine condition and developing the way we think it should.”

Jon Harrey, Owner of Te Mania Wines in Nelson added, “Diam has given us a superbly consistent product that has addressed the age-old issues of taint, leakage and bottle variation. Our wines have developed well under Diam. Two years on, we have yet to see a “corked” bottle returned to us. We expect to see a higher usage of Diam closures in the future.”

Another 40 wineries have indicated that they will follow these Diam leaders by moving at least one of their wines from screwcap to Diam for their bottling by the 2007 vintage (before 30.03.07).

Diam’s affect on the levels of wine permeability

Newpro Packaging introduced the P1 Diam, which offered a specific and consistent permeability, in mid 2004. By August 2005, Diam’s makers had introduced a second level of permeability (P10).

“In two years the Diam has moved from a solution to cork taint to an effective tool for winemakers,” said Wayne Edwards, Director for Newpro Packaging. “Winemakers are acknowledging the influence closure permeability has on the post-bottling maturation and development of wine and how Diam’s two levels of permeability allow this control.”

FAST FACTS ON DIAM

- Introduced to New Zealand two years ago to solve cork taint problem.
- Now used to control wine quality through different levels of permeability.
- Over 34% of New Zealand wineries using/ trialing Diam closures since its introduction.
- 16 local wineries using it exclusively.

International milestones
- Proven effective in the elimination of TCA taint. Over 1500 wineries worldwide have used over 100 million Diam closures without a single reported incident of taint.
- Globally accepted, typified by its use among discerning UK wine distributors. Sainsbury, Tesco and Marks & Spencer now use Diam for their own house brands.
- Partnership with respected brands, including Moet & Chandon.
- Winner of the prestigious 2004 Gold Award for innovative wine packaging at the Vinitech exhibition in Bordeaux.

About Newpro Packaging

Established in June 2004, Newpro Packaging Limited provides innovative and tested wine product packaging to New Zealand winegrowers in order to improve wine quality and to care for the environment.
Newpro Packaging is the sole New Zealand distributor of the Diam closure. Its clients range from boutique to large wineries throughout the country.

The company has a philosophy that each winemaker has individual needs when it comes to preserving the quality of his or her wine. Newpro Packaging offers tools to help winemakers meet those needs. The company’s three directors collectively bring 85 years of experience in the New Zealand and international wine industry to their clients.

ENDS

Note: All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies.

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