Articles

The return of cork stoppers

There's nothing that replace the sound of the 'POC' of a cork coming out of a bottle of wine. After a long period of market break, cork has returned to be the preferred seal of wine producers. And consumers.

It's a reality. Cork is one of the noble materials in Portugal, with the stoppers being its most famous product, the most produced and the most exported. However, between 2000 and 2009, a period in which other types of alternative seals have emerged - mostly threaded capsules and plastic stoppers -- cork was banished from his throne, through a break accentuated in its use. Today, with the confidence of the market regained to cost of a gigantic investment in research, development awareness by the corticeiro sector, the cork stopper grows at a higher rate than the wine market.

The numbers do not lie: In 2018, the cork sector has hit its export record with 1,067.6 million growth of 8% compared to the previous year. One moment history for Portugal. On the other hand, APCOR - Portuguese Association of Cork - estimates that more than 12 billion bottles of wine per year are with cork stoppers, preferred by more than 70% of the world's producers, to the detriment of screw cap and synthetic plastic stopper, 4 billion bottles and 2 billion, respectively. At present, it is proven that the plastic causes some problems, including the oxidation of wine, difficulty in re-seal in the bottle, scent tampering, or the fact that it is harmful to to the environment, hence its demand has fallen a lot in recent years. As for the screwcap, and after a period of glory, the demand slowed sharply despite considered the advantage of having an easy opening.    

Cork is therefore big. However, despite the promising scenario and winning the battle, there is still a lack of war. In order to overcome barriers, it is necessary to continue to invest in research, technology, new products and end trichloroanisol for good (TCA). This is a chemical compound that lodges in the bark of the rubber and that, through the stoppers, can contaminate the wine. Even though it is not harmful to human health, TCA transmits to wine a very high aroma and mold yomin unpleasant, which does not allow the appreciation of its real characteristics.




Many companies are committed to resolution of this problem such as DIAM, which manufactures stoppers and pioneered to present solutions to the problem.  Amorim, on the other hand, largest national corticeira, has not only invested in preventive and as the problem has already eradicated, such as Diam, in the stoppers of cork cluster through NDtech, an analysis technology controls the quality and 'health' of stoppers. And more. Until 2020, Amorim also promises the total resolution in natural cork stoppers, more difficult to deal with than the cluster. After the war, cork will still have more strength. And it's not for less. The natural characteristics of cork stopper are unmatched. It is lightweight (a stopper contains about 90% air or gas flexible, elastic and compressible, ensuring a perfect adaptation to the bottle neck. It is also waterproof, resistant to humidity and, consequently, oxidation. Environmentally friendly, it is reusable and Recyclable. Finally, its use contributes to the perception that the consumer has quality wines. There will be better arguments for wanting to continue hearing the sound of the cork coming out of a bottle of wine?


NUMBERS AND CURIOSITIES:

- On average, more than 90% of consumers in the world prefers cork and associates wine of quality and elegance

- Portugal has 736,775 hectares of forest of sobro, the largest in the world (34%)

- Portugal is the largest producer in the world, with 100,000 tons of cork/year (49.6%)

- The cork sector beat the export record in 2018, with €1,067.6 million, up 8% from the previous year. A historic moment for the sector and portugal

- The number of cork stoppers produced annually around the world would give to complete 15 laps to the perimeter of the Earth.

- The largest and oldest superiro in the world it is called Whistler and is planted in Águas de Moura, alentejo. The its name is inspired by the sounds of the songbirds that land on their raming. Planted in 1783, this superiro is more than 14 meters high and 4.15 meters of the trunk perimeter.

- In 2011, the Assembly of the Republic declared the national tree of Portugal.

- Portugal pioneered the legislation environmental protection of the mounted, and is currently the main legislator in this Matter.