By James Atkinson
A representative of Champagne producers and growers has completely rejected the possibility of Champagne ever moving beyond the traditional cork closure.
Comite Champagne communications director Thibaut Le Mailloux, who was in Australia recently, was responding to local criticism of cork closures following the groundbreaking introduction of a screwcap closure for sparkling wine earlier this year.
"No. And it's an immediate no," he told TheShout, when asked if Champagne producers would ever follow suit, if the technology became suitable.
"Some people have been making a lot of noise around the cork just because there are some innovations on the screwcaps," said Le Mailloux.
"There are also innovations on cork. The cork now is different from the cork ten years ago and different from the cork ten years before," he said.
"The risk of corked bottle is decreasing constantly."
Le Mailloux said that in any case, an alternative closure would be forbidden by current regulations on Champagne.
"There's a good reason for that – ageing after disgorgement. We think it's good for Champagne, up to a certain limit," he said.
Le Mailloux said the producers like the regulation that keeps cork compulsory, "because it's part of the ritual and the tradition and the romance of opening the bottle".
"Beyond technical concerns, Champagne without the cork… would it feel like Champagne?" he asked.