The Santa Cruz winemaker Bonny Doon Vineyards saw volume sales for calendar year 2002 grow 30% compared to the figures from 2001.

David Amadia, vice president for sales & marketing said one element of the company’s success had been the release of the winery's 2001 Big House Red and 2001 Big House White. The wines are closed with the Stelvin screwcap closure, apparently the largest US bottling to date of fine wine sealed with a screwcap at 80,000 cases.

The company said all its wines will transition to screwcaps over the next two years.

"At the end of the day, or the year, a winery can continue to grow strongly even through difficult market conditions if it is highly differentiated from its competition, provides great quality and value, and it executes its plans out in the market. We accomplished exactly that in 2002," said Amadia.

Randall Grahm, winemaker and President-for-Life of Bonny Doon said: "The fear and trembling involved in what seemed at the time to be a very risky proposition seems now to be for naught. It is now clear that a great product, fairly priced, will not be slowed down and will, in fact, prosper with the Stelvin closure if marketed with confidence and wit.

"A more risk-averse wine producer would be hard-pressed to make the considerable capital and marketing investment required for this roll out," said Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg Fredrikson, wine industry economic analysts. "Grahm put his money where his mouth is," he added, "but, as always, wine quality carried the day."