The California winemaker Robert Mondavi Winery is at the centre of another legal dispute, this time over an alleged breach of contract with a cork company.

In papers filed with the Napa Superior Court, Gardner Technologies is claiming that Robert Mondavi caused it to lose millions of dollars in potential investments.

Gardner Technologies produces the MetaCork, which uses threaded glass and a special capsule to seal wine bottles with a cork and opens without a corkscrew.

The suit, according to a report by Associated Press Newswires, says that Mondavi provided assurances it would participate in a distribution programme for the closure to start this Christmas.

However, Mondavi, which has been embroiled in a takeover offer from Constellation Wines, itself a reaction to plans from Mondavi to sell off its fine wine division, allegedly backed down on the agreement.

Mondavi was not available for comment but Gardner claims to have lost revenues in the "tens of millions."