Delicato Family Vineyards is abandoning corks completely in favour of alternative closures. The Californian wine producer is thought to be the largest US winery to transfer its entire portfolio over to synthetic closures.

In common with other wineries, Delicato said that around 5% to 8% of its production is spoiled due to cork taint. "That is an unacceptable percentage for us and our good customers," said Delicato's vice president of marketing, Steve Morgan yesterday (10 August). "We know of no other industry that accepts a 5% failure rate due to closures."

Delicato said that it has been testing various alternative closures for more than five years and is currently using synthetic corks, screw-caps and bag-in-the- box technology. It has already produced around 1m cases with alternative closures.

For its synthetic corks, Delicato is using NuKorc closures, while the company is sourcing screw-caps from Alplast.