Corks v Screwcaps Survey Results

We’ve had an incredible response to our recent ’30-Second Survey’. As I mentioned in 10 Questions about Corks v Screwcaps, we’ve considered whether we should continue with corks for our white and rosé, and possibly for our reds. With the bottling of over 10,000 cases due to take place next month, we wanted to know what everyone thinks. The easiest thing to do would be not to change anything – after all, we get few complaints.

On 14 January, we emailed all our customers (or rather, all those who are on our email list), with a link to a simple survey, which closed a week later. The question was:

What closures should we use to bottle our wines?

There were three choices – cork, screwcap or don’t mind – for each category of white, rosé and red. Over 1100 responded within a week, leaving their full name and email address (which wasn’t obligatory). Around 700 left a comment. This was the result (1148 entries):

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Conclusions

With almost two thirds voting for screwcap for white, plus 19% ‘Don’t Mind’, it seems that 84% would be happy with a move to screwcap.  We are mindful though of the 16% vote for cork.

Only 12.4%, or 1 in 8 people, expressed a preference for Cork for our rosé. That’s what we used for our top selling wine last summer, by the way, so that’s a clear message.

It’s a different story for our Bordeaux red with 77% voting for cork or ‘don’t mind’, but a solid 23% are pro-screwcap. The feedback from the comments: tradition, image, suitability of corks for ageing wine, the preservation of cork forests – and the romance of pulling a cork.

Overall, I’m pleased we ran this survey, and amazed by the number of people who responded. We’ve emailed everyone who did to say thank you – but thanks again. I’m still trying to figure out how to post the 700 comments from the survey onto this blog. If you have anything to add, we’d be delighted to hear from you below. I’m off to sort out a new bottling line…

11 thoughts on “Corks v Screwcaps Survey Results

  1. norma jobling

    I cant believe that people would prefer a screwcap – if I was paying £40 plus for a bottle of your wine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant, I would be miffed if it didnt have a cork!

    1. Gavin

      Thanks for the comment, Norma. In fact, you'd be paying much less at Ramsay's for our Bordeaux Blanc Sec (which has a cork today but the sommelier wants a Stelvin screwcap in future), at around £24. For our red, one of which is indeed over £40, you'd be getting a cork, even though that's no indication of better quality.
      I was taken recently, by a generous friend, to the Blue Bird restaurant in the King's Road. He paid over £100 for a New Zealand Pinot Noir from Mount Difficulty, which came with a screwcap of course. None of the group had a problem with that, but I can see that some people would raise an eyebrow. The wine was much better than the white Mas de Daumas Gassac, which was recommended by the sommelier and wasn't cheap. This normally fine white seemed to have had all the aromas scavenged by the cork. But I could be wrong.
      Lastly, do take a look at this interview with Vanya Cullen, a highly respected winemaker from the Margaret River. Regards, Gavin

  2. conor Doyle

    Hi Gavin and Angela

    As a voter for 100% screw caps, my advice would be to stick with corks for red for now to keep customers happy but factor in a change to screw caps in the medium term. i am pretty traditional but see nothing wrong with screw caps. they last better so it is illogical that there is a preference for cork in red since this if any is the wine that is/needs to be laid down.

    Good luck

    Conor Doyle

  3. I Love Natural Cork

    Hi Gavin and Angela, great idea to ask your customers their preference on type of closure, and we're really interested in the results. I wonder if you have seen the recent article by Victoria Moore, taking the debate one step further and highlighting how much it affects wine development in the bottle: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/wine/8418…. It would be great to know your thoughts on this and if it will influence your closure decisions moving forward?

  4. Kevin Dilton-Hill

    When I was at Rustenberg (an iconic South African Producer) recently I was surprised to see their flagship cabernet in a screwcap – see http://bit.ly/GGVaxc But it would not put me off buying it even with a restaurant markup because it would be too young for the screwcap to influencing the aging (but old enough to be corked if a cork was used).

  5. Rhys

    Hi Gavin,

    The more i think about it, the more i'm erring towards Stelvin for rosé. Silver & pink is great colour combo.