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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

The UK is the only major market ready to accept screwcapped wines, according to Californian giant Ernest & Julio Gallo. The company has carried out research across Europe and trialled its Turning Leaf range with a Stelvin closure in Tesco. The range has new packaging, labelling, advertising and two new varietals, Pinot Noir and Syrah . Turning Leaf... when ordinary turns into extraordinary' is the range's new strapline. Speaking at the launch, Glenn Caton, Gallo's marketing director for western Europe, said: The most interesting thing we found was that every market across the world was at a different stage of development, in terms of attitudes of acceptance of closures. We found that for the UK consumer, there was a broad effort from the industry to educate people as to the benefit of certain closures, particularly screwcap. Ireland, France and Germany are not ready [for screwcap]; the UK is ready, but we also believe that no-one else is. New Zealand wines are predominantly under screwcap, and journalists have had an incredible amount of positive influence on why screwcap is a better closure. We really believe that for an easy-drinking, premium wine, screwcap is the better closure. The UK consumer is ready and willing to try screwcap. We track every mention of screwcaps in the press, and 95% of those mentions are positive.' Caton said that bottling a 5.99-6.49 range under screwcap gave the closure credibility', but added that there were no plans' to bottle Gallo's 9.99 Coastal Vineyards range under screwcap, because 10+ wines provide a sense of occasion, a sense of satisfaction and the tradition of the noise of the cork, which is still important to people'.