NZ Made Screwcaps a Big Boost to Wine Industry

Published: Wed 26 Oct 2005 03:50 PM
NZ Made Screwcaps a Big Boost to Wine Industry
The opening of NZ's first screwcap manufacturing plant is a major boost to NZ winemakers, particularly exporters.
Stephan Jelicich Managing Director of Esvin Wine Resources Ltd says local supply of screwcaps is critical. " 80% of all NZ still wine is now bottled under screwcap so local manufacture, with the sole focus of supplying kiwi wineries is critical. We've been working to develop this plant for some time and while, as a multi million dollar facility, it's a big investment for us and one, we are confident will pay for off for us at Esvin and for the NZ wine industry."
Esvin Wine Resources Ltd founded in 1993 and initially an importer of cork, was the first to bring premium grade screwcaps into NZ. Esvin, now the country's first and only, screwcap manufacturer, is producing NZ wine screwcaps under the brand name Alvis.
Mr. Jelicich says "Relying on off shore manufacturers was simply not sustainable for the NZ wine industry. As every importer will tell you, it's always a troublesome business. In addition to time zone, logistical and language difficulties, there are the delays ever present in dealing with imports."
"Any problems in supply, or errors in production, took four to five months to rectify. If you've got wine in the tank and the barrel ready for bottling, you just can't wait that long. Similarly, delays from depending on off shore manufacture, meant that unexpected and unplanned export orders to local wineries, all too often simply couldn't be fulfilled in time, costing our customers money."
The first major producer to use screwcaps, winemaker Kim Crawford says "Access to locally made and decorated screwcaps is a major boost for us. I see two key benefits. We can turn around export orders in weeks instead of months. You wouldn't believe the amount of orders lost to import time lags. Now we can service and supply our customers, when and how we need to."
Mr. Crawford added "It's also good for small producers. Big overseas companies weren't interested in turning out the small runs that new and boutique producers needed their screwcaps in. Now the little guys get a chance to go to market with all the benefits of a top end screwcap."
Wither Hills Managing Director & Founder, winemaker Brent Marris says "The biggest benefit to my mind, is forging a close relationship and working in tight partnership with like minded people. We've worked with Esvin for more than 10 years and bringing this critical technology to NZ, allows adaptability in our production. Proximity allows for direct timely response and that means we can guarantee quality not just in our wine, but in the wine's packaging, presentation and delivery. Wine is a very competitive business and NZ producers need to constantly look for every competitive edge we can get."
Mr Jelicich believes Alvis screwcaps deliver that competitive edge and to prove his confidence has begun manufacture with what he believes to be another screwcap first. He said "We are offering a 10 year warranty on Alvis screwcap seal performance. As far as I know, that is the first such warranty available anywhere in the world and when you compare it to the 48 hour warranty, which was the best we could do with cork, it shows the advances we've made."
"I can offer a 10 year warranty, because of the excellent plant we have, quality of materials used, and the expertise my team and I have built up in more than ten years supplying the wine industry. We're really going to make a difference to the production and export of wine in NZ with this facility."
For Brent Marris the benefits go further than might at first be thought. He said "Brand is critical to your success, so being able to stand in the production plant and sign off on my screwcaps, on the art execution and every aspect or decoration of that screwcap, is crucial. That we can stop and check, amend and adjust production as it's running is a long overdue service to local wine makers and marketers."
The plant manufacturing Alvis screwcaps is in Mt Wellington Auckland and is already in production, making caps for a number of local wineries and more orders are being taken from producers in every NZ wine growing region. ends.

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