A Switch From Cork

Dry River Switches From Cork

I was surprised to discover Diam closures in two of Dry River’s latest releases of pinot gris and gewürztraminer. Dry River, a super-premium Martinborough producer that ranked seventh in our Top Wineries of New Zealand 2019, has been untouched by the closure revolution… until now.

I immediately called Dry River winemaker, Wilco Lam, who confirmed that all their wines will switch to Diam at future bottlings. Dry River succumbed to pressure from overseas markets such as Australia and the UK which showed “a lack of tolerance to cork failure” and began trials with alternative closures a few years ago.

Lam explained that screwcaps were out of the question because they want to continue using their distinctive bottle, which has become an important part of the Dry River brand. The bottle features a bulbous neck that would not accommodate a screwcap closure.

“Cork is a beautiful product if it is sound,” enthused Lam. “Good bottles under cork can be fantastic but it is hard to cope with bottle variation.

“We asked ourselves what we want from wines when they evolve and how do we want them to evolve.”

The answer appears to be the relatively new Origine by Diam closure, which Lam believes will give a more consistent oxygen exchange than cork while avoiding the risk of cork taint.

“We haven’t reached the end of the road with closures – Diam is developing a closure to suit the Dry River bottle. I’m convinced that Diam is better than cork.”

This article was first published on The Real Review website in July 2019 and has been reprinted here in full.