Pieropan drops Classico status for screwcap
Wednesday 22 July
One of Soave’s best-known producers, Pieropan, is following in the footsteps of Venetian neighbour Allegrini, bottling its Classico level wine under screwcap and forsaking its ‘Classico’ status.
Under Italian law both Valpolicella producer Allegrini and Soave’s Pieropan were forbidden from bottling their Classico wines under screwcap.
However, the Pieropan family have decided to drop Classico so they can move to stelvin with the 2008 vintage.
“The UK, the US and Australia will take their entire allocation of 2008 under screwcap,” said Andrea Pieropan. “We’ve taken this step to improve the quality of the wine drunk by the final consumer. Our wine is unoaked, and its charm lies in its perfume and elegance, so we need a closure that captures these characters in the bottle.”
Liberty Wines imports both producers’ wines and managing director David Gleave MW has been a vocal proponent of bottling Italian wines under screwcap for some time. I’m sure his close relationship with these two Veneto producers and his views on dragging Italian wine law into the 21st century will have played a part in their decision.
He said: “In our opinion, Italy’s tardiness in adapting this new technology is having an adverse effect on the competitiveness of their wines in the U.K. market. Over the past 30 years the image of Italian wine has been transformed, largely due to the willingness of many producers to embrace new technology and techniques in response to market trends. Yet these same producers, who see the benefits of adopting screwcaps for their wines, are now being held back by the law.”
While these two renowned producers are likely to suffer from the loss of their Classico status, lesser-known Italian producers are unlikely to be abandon their Classico status readily. Classico and cork still mean quality in Italy. Consumers in the UK, Australia and New Zealand now readily accept screwcaps but other markets, including the US, still see screwcaps as fit only for lower quality wines. While the switch by these top producers and others including Laroche in Chablis will improve its image, it still has a long way to go.