The Rise of the Screw Cap

Corks have been used as the principal way to seal bottles since the 1400’s.  Cork is processed from the bark of a tree called Quercus Suber or Cork Oak.  These trees can be found in Portugal, Spain and North Africa.  Cork Oak is a renewable resource and is being consumed at a much faster rate than it can regenerate.  This has lead to poor quality cork which does not protect the wine from damaging oxygen. Corks often crumble, break and leak causing the wine to become tainted.  Estimates show that 1 bottle in a 12 bottle case suffers from cork taint.  


As a result, screw caps have become more popular and one shouldn’t judge a wine by how its sealed.  Screw caps were first introduced in the late 1950’s, but did not gain popularity until recently.  Many high-end wine producers are now using screw caps.  Currently 90% of New Zealand and 70% of Australian wines are sealed by screw caps.  There are a number of reasons why there has been a rise in the use of screw caps.  




·     No taint

·     Is more convenient and easier to open

·     Less expensive for the wine producer

·     Preserves the character of the wine and improves the consistency and quality

·     Wine can be stored upright or on its side

·     Screw Caps are recyclable

For these reasons Cades Cove Cellars uses screw caps on all of our wines.  We want to always provide a consistent product that will not be tainted when you get home from your visit to the Great Smoky Mountains.  


Yardley Sawyer