SCREW CAPS BLAMED FOR HIGH COPPER LEVEL
In an interesting note, a 4000-case shipment from New Zealand winery Te Kairanga was rejected by a German company due to a high level of copper. The customer claimed the level of copper in Te Kairangaâ€™s pinot noir (3.6 parts per million) was well over the European recommended limit (1ppm).
As youâ€™ll recall, copper is typically added to eliminate smelly agents in wine but then drained before the wine is bottled. Some people blame the shift from corks to screw caps for the increase in copper, claiming too much copper is added when screwcaps are used. Others claim the practice is no longer taking place.
Apparently, New Zealand doesnâ€™t routinely check copper levels in exported or imported wines. Could this pose problems for New Zealandâ€™s ever-growing $700 million export wine business?
Apparently not. Te Kairangaâ€™s chief executive Ian Frame says this is an isolated incident. â€œThe product is not branded Te Kairanga, and in all the other countries we deal with this is not a problem.â€
New Zealand Wine chief executive Philip Gregan went so far as to say that Germany is known as a â€œstickler for technical pointsâ€ when it comes to wine.
â€œIf there’s an issue that comes out of a customer in Germany, it never surprises me,â€ he continued.