COMPANY PROFILE

AMORIM CORK AMERICA

Amorim Cork America logo


CONTACT INFO

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Address

360 Devlin Rd.
Napa
CA, 94558
United States
Phone
(707) 224-6000
Fax
(707) 224-7616
Primary
P.J. Awe

About Our Company

With over 5 billion corks sold annually worldwide, Amorim celebrates 150 years of undisputed leadership in the industry, the company has distinguished itself by its quality, innovation, excellence and vision. We have introduced cork to the world and made cork global. The company was founded in 1870, when António Alves Amorim established a small cork stopper factory in the heart of the Port wine region. Four generations later, the group operates in over one hundred countries in all continents. 

The company offers an array of high-quality solutions with impeccable sustainable credentials and proven benefits of cork, from top-of-the-range natural cork stoppers, to champagne stoppers and technical cork stoppers.  A strong investment in R&D has produced some of the market’s most groundbreaking solutions, such as the Helix system, developed in partnership with O-I, dubbed “the first major wine packaging innovation of the 21st century”, and the cutting-edge screening technology NDtech, which offers the world first natural cork with a non-detectable TCA guarantee. State-of-the-art production technologies, leading expertise, and unparalleled quality control are some of the reasons why the world’s top wine producers rely on Amorim Cork to guard their treasures. Honoring the unique relationship between two exceptional living materials - cork and wine - from France to California, from Argentina to Australia, the world’s best wines are sealed with the world’s finest stoppers.

With sustainability as one of its pillars, Amorim is a member of the BCSC Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Forest and Trade Iberian Network, the Earth and Global Forest and Trade Network, and a founding member of the Porto Protocol. An environmentally responsible company, Amorim has developed a long-term project which integrates sustainability into all its operations, following the principles of circular economy. In 2007, Amorim became the first cork supplier in the world to receive FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification from the Rainforest Alliance for its natural cork closures. This certification is the guarantee that corks grown and manufactured under this accreditation meet the highest standards of sustainable and socially responsible forestry practices.

Our Products & Services


Our Natural Cork Stoppers are the best money can buy. They are available in Forest Stewardship Council Certified Wood. These wine corks are 100% natural cork and are produced with the highest degree of care and quality. The ideal stopper for wines with long bottle aging potential.

Our ROSA-Treated Twin Top® wine corks set the standard for technical stoppers. They are ideal for fruity wines not requiring long bottle aging. This stopper retains the benefits of a natural cork closure with the added protection of a ROSA-treated product. The ideal stopper for wine consumed within 5 years.

ROSA-Treated Twin Top® Evo is the advanced version of Amorim’s popular Twin Top® technical stopper, aimed at the popular premium segment, with high-grade natural cork discs at both ends and a micro-agglomerate cork body. It is ideal for wines with floral and fruity notes not requiring long aging. The individually moulded micro-agglomerate cork body assures higher homogeneity and greater physical and mechanical resistance.  The ideal stopper for wine consumed within 5 to 7 years.

ROSA-Treated Neutrocork® is an micro-agglomerated wine cork stopper made from ROSA-treated cork particles. It is intended for wines of early consumption in which price and excellent sealing ability are important. The ideal stopper for wine consumed in 3 to 5 years.

       The Neutrocork Premium® 
stopper is the most recent evolution of the Neutrocork stopper.  This latest generation stopper uses patented ROSA High Tech steam sterilisation system, which is an evolution of the previous ROSA treatment system, providing even deeper sterilisation in the cellular structure of cork. The ideal stopper for wine consumed in 5 to 7 years and guarantees a non-detectable TCA.*

Acquamark® cork is a natural product designed as a low-cost alternative for wines meant for early consumption.

SPARK® premium sparkling wine corks are the first choice of sparkling winae and champagne winemakers. This product provides an exceptional seal with ease of application. It is the benchmark of quality worldwide.

T-Cork®, often referred to as a Bar Top stopper, is a natural cork stopper available in a wide range of cap top materials. Because of its sealing ability and reuse feature, it is the ideal solution for bottling fortified wines and spirits.

ND Tech - Amorim
ND Tech - Amorim
ndTech individually-inspect each and every cork that goes through the process and guarantees then all to be TCA-free at human sensory threshold levels.
Amorim Cork
Amorim Cork
Cork Stoppers Process

Do you know about REGACORK? The main objective of  the project - coordinated by Amorim Florestal and the University of Évora in Portugal - is to enhance the cork sector. How? By making it possible to harvest cork at an earlier date, favoring growth of cork oak trees in intensive production plantations and fostering their vitality, by mitigating situations of hydric stress. 


Read about this game changing research here: https://www.amorim.com/en/whats-new/news/REGACORK-Extraction-of-cork-in-12-years/2050/



News Archive


Bark to Bottle April 2020 Issue is Out
26 May, 2020

Our latest issue of Bark to Bottle is out, detailing all the cork-related news: the negative carbon footprint of cork, who's using cork (answer: most people), the future of cork, and also looking back at the history of Amorim - after all it is history month. 


https://www.amorimcork.com/xms/files/Media_Center/Bark_to_Bottle/BtB__43_EN_single.pdf 



How Ernst & Young study shows Carbon Benefits of Cork Closures
04 May, 2020

When it comes to the cork industry’s challenge to win the closures battle, one enormous boost has come in the findings of a Lifecycle Assessment study by Ernst & Young, which shows as scientific fact how cork stoppers can reduce by a quarter the total carbon footprint of an average bottle of still table wine and by almost half that of a bottle of sparkling wine. 

Mike Turner talks to world-leading cork supplier Amorim, which commissioned the study, and suggests that for an industry that has often been forced into owning a narrative, the carbon footprint argument sits neatly with an already impressive record of sustainability and biodiversity.


mm By April 29, 2020


“Amorim has always advocated that science can highlight the problem as well as the solutions, whether that realm is TCA taints or carbon emissions,” writes Turner.

For the last 30 years, the cork industry has been under attack. Wine producers that didn’t have easy geographical access to cork started using other closures and, in order to convince the world they were an improvement, ‘laid into’ the cork industry to extol the virtues of the screwcap or the glass stoppers, or whatever else they put on the market. Any wine fault became a cork problem. It was too easy.

How do you win an argument like that?  Well, if you’re Amorim, the industry leader in cork, the best way is to lean heavily on a scientific Research and Development department. They’ve now reduced TCA prevalence to less than 0.4%, and from 2021 will offer a non-detectable TCA performance on all their wine corks.

And yet they still have all these bright young minds in their R&D department thinking ‘What else does cork do?’  Of course there are commercial drivers, but the main motivation is ‘How else do we benefit the wine industry?’

This has led to an Ernst & Young Lifecycle Assessment study commissioned by Amorim to definitively study the carbon footprint of a single cork. Previously it was assumed, based solely on production, that a cork stopper had a small carbon footprint, similar to that of other wine bottle closures. The findings of the study, however, were amazing and can have far reaching implications for both the cork and wine industry alike.

Amorim
There are 2.2 million hectares of cork trees across the Mediterranean basin and in Portugal have been protected by law since the 1100s

Why measuring our carbon footprint matters

It is important to put the findings of the study into a global context. Greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming and climate change and, although a lot of greenhouse gases occur naturally, we now have undeniable evidence that human activity is creating (mostly unnecessary) extra emissions. Carbon compounds, be them Monoxide, Dioxide, or Methane and more, are the more obvious offenders.

Carbon emissions targets are the bread and butter of every UN Council meeting these days. They will never go far enough right now, given the amount of self-interest and lobbying groups kicking around, but we do have generally accepted reduction targets now. These mean that by 2050, if we’re to hit these targets, we need to plant the equivalent of 1.2 trillion trees worldwide. Broken down that means that, in the UK alone, that’s 3 billion trees, so 100 million per year for the next 30 years. Whether or not that’s achievable is anyone’s guess, but it does highlight the magnitude of the issue.

What struggles the wine trade has with its carbon footprint

Now in theory you might think that the wine industry is carbon capturing industry. How many billion vines are out there in the world photosynthesizing throughout their growing season? Throw in some grass and cover crops down the middle of the rows, hedgerow and surrounding forests and you’d be forgiven for thinking this industry should very much be part of the solution, not the problem. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work out like that.

Winemaking techniques unavoidably produce emissions. Not least the fermentation process itself producing CO2. Lots of work is being done in the wine and brewing industry to capture, store, and repurpose the emissions from fermentation, but the technology is currently expensive due to its infancy[1]. We then have ‘the joys’ of the glass bottle, produced by furnaces that are never switched off for their decades’ long lifecycle.  If wine was invented today, would it be put in a glass bottle? No. But, our inability as consumers to move onto alternative packaging shows no signs of letting up.

We also have the inevitable transport footprint. This has been an issue tackled aggressively by the more remote winemaking countries for years. Perversely a bottle of wine from Bordeaux in a shop in London will probably have a similar footprint to a bottle from New Zealand. The former being transported by road, the latter in bulk by ship with economies of scale and bottling sites in the UK.

Amorim
“Now we know, through an independent ‘cradle to gate’ analysis, that these cork stoppers have such a negative carbon footprint,” Carlos de Jesus

Amorim’s carbon reduction studies

Amorim has always been renowned for its research and development programmes. In 1976 Américo Amorim formed the first advertising committee for the cork industry to teach foreign users about the benefits of cork, which led eventually to the Cork Congress initiatives between the cork industry and university departments the world over. Amorim has always advocated that science can highlight the problem as well as the solutions, whether that realm is TCA taints or carbon emissions.

There is clearly something special about the 2.2 million hectares of cork trees across the Mediterranean basin. They’ve been protected by law since the 1100s in Portugal and the cork industry itself is inherently carbon negative. Different companies are of course run differently, so the environmental balance is not the same all around, but all draw from the same pool of resources. CO2is, of course, retained by the cork forest as a whole and contributes to overall carbon capture. For Amorim specifically, 63% of its energy needs comes from its own cork dust – zero emission biomass – that incidentally has been in use across the entire cork industry since the 1960s.

The results of the Lifecycle Assessment study, independently performed by consultancy giant Ernst & Young, can now actually put a figure on that carbon capture potential and state as scientific fact that a natural cork captures 309g of CO2, and a natural cork for sparkling wine captures 562g of CO2. If we use a widely used figure of 1200g of equivalent CO2as the carbon footprint of an average bottle of wine[2], then the use of cork stoppers can reduce this by a quarter in a still wine, and nearly half in a sparkling wine.

“If we want to preserve cork oak trees – which are never felled and can live more than 200 years – we need to use more cork stoppers,” explains Carlos de Jesus, Amorim’s head of marketing and communication. “Now we know, through an independent ‘cradle to gate’ analysis, that these cork stoppers have such a negative carbon footprint they can offset the carbon emission of other elements of the production chain such as bottles. In fact, they are the go-to answer for everyone’s environmental responsibility.”

Compared to other parts of packaging

Of the aforementioned 1200g of CO2for each bottle, about half of that is accounted for by packaging materials – almost 85% is the glass bottle, and then you throw in secondary packaging like the cardboard box or label production.

Of the other forms of closures like screwcaps, or plastic corks, or even the widely touted introduction of sugar palm ‘corks’, none of them are massively carbon heavy but none of them are inherently carbon negative like natural corks. Screwcaps aren’t biodegradable and still use a lot of single-use plastic for the closure. Plastic closures seem to be price-led and are inherently problematic with the distinction between ‘recyclable’ and ‘recycled’ often blurred. Even new ideas like the sugar palm ‘corks’ are being ruined by monoculture production and the destruction of biodiversity heartlands, akin to the palm oil and avocado industries.

Changing the consumer and market’s preference for glass bottles will be a long-fought fight, with short-term gains possible through an emphasis on recycling. However, when it comes to reducing its carbon impact, the evidence is overwhelmingly there for natural cork stoppers.

Amorim
At €135 a day during harvest, it’s one of, if not the highest paid agricultural jobs in the world.

Sustainability and the cork industry

The wine industry is under pressure to move away from monoculture towards biodiversity. The cork forests of Portugal are one of the UN’s 36 global biodiversity hotspots, a list that includes the Amazon Rainforest and the tropics of Costa Rica. On the upside that means they’re recognised as extremely biologically rich and globally important, but on the downside it means that they’re deeply threatened. As an industry, we can help that.

Amorim began to buy its own forests as recently as the end of 2018.  Its expectation is that the expected growth rate of cork is so high that if they don’t sort out the supply chain now then in 25 years (mature after 25 years, harvest every 9 years from there), then the forests might not be as protected as they might be, and the industry will be in trouble. As a family owned company, they are now used to playing the long game.

Sustainability also includes the economic and cultural aspects of cork production. Harvesting is a highly skilled job, often with many generations of knowhow behind every cork harvester. At €135 a day during harvest, it’s one of, if not the highest paid agricultural jobs in the world.

The ability to bring money into the local region doesn’t stop there. The UN’s FCCC[3]scheme currently rates the value of one tonne of offset carbon at about €7.50. When the global markets finally get round to setting up a more effective carbon credits exchange, that’s many millions of euros extra coming into the cork forest regions every year.

Amorim
Amorim has always leaned heavily on its R&D department. They’ve now reduced TCA prevalence to less than 0.4%.

Simple win in the industry’s eco battle

The findings of EY’s Lifecycle Assessment study won’t be lost on the building or aeronautic industries both of which use the flexibility, water tightness, and heat resistance properties of cork and cork agglomerates to great effect. The challenge is on the wine industry, the world’s largest consumer of cork, to ensure that it also takes the findings to heart.

13.2 billion natural corks were produced in 2018[4], a potential carbon capture of just over 40 million tonnes (if we just use the 309g per cork from Amorim’s findings) which, added to the biodiversity and sustainability elements of the cork industry, makes impressive reading.

When it comes to the fast moving goalposts of what we know about climate change, our impact upon it, and the potential efforts we can make to reduce or even reverse the effect, it’s got to be about what we know now, not what we thought was an issue 30, 20, or even just 10 years ago.


About the Studies:

These studies were conducted by Ernst & Young, and commissioned by Corticeira Amorim.  For full details of the study, including methodology and results, please email Carlos de Jesus, Head of Communications, on carlos.dejesus@amorim.com

About Corticeira Amorim:

Corticeira Amorim is the leading world producer of cork products, having been involved in the sector since 1870. The company’s product portfolio covers various sectors, including, among others, wine, construction, flooring, aeronautics, automotive and footwear. It has implemented an integrated production process that ensures that no cork is wasted, and it supports various initiatives for collecting and recycling cork stoppers across five continents. 

1 C-Capture in Leeds, UK – https://www.c-capture.co.uk/

2 https://www.ipoint-systems.com/blog/getting-it-straight-exact-carbon-emissions-from-one-bottle-of-wine/

3 https://www.feelgoodgrapes.com/offsetting

4 APCOR figures (2019)


Orignial Article: http://www.the-buyer.net/insight/carbon-benefits-cork/



Latest Study Confirms Negative Carbon Footprint for Amorim Cork Stoppers
09 March, 2020

Sparkling wine stoppers with two natural cork discs have the highest CO2 retention in the whole closure industry

Napa, Calif.—A brand-new study, assessing the CO2 retention rates with a cradle-to-gate methodology that measures everything from forest floor to finished stopper, concludes that cork closures are a major ally in the wine industry’s battle for sustainability.

One single natural cork stopper is now proven to capture up to 309 grams of CO2, while a sparkling wine stopper can retain even more at 562 grams. This means that cork closures can offset the carbon footprint of glass bottles, a key packaging element of the all-important, profitable premium wine market.

To analyze the complete environmental footprint of both whole natural cork and two-disc sparkling wine stoppers, a study incorporating a life cycle assessment (LCA) was commissioned by Corticeira Amorim, and conducted by EY consultants during December 2019.*

This vital CO2 retention capability comes at no extra cost – it is embedded in the very nature of cork, and is a benefit to which every winery is entitled. Given the fact that more than 70% of the value created by cork overall comes from wine stoppers, without these products, the 5.4 million acres of native cork forests across seven countries in the Western Mediterranean basin – one of the world’s 36 biodiversity “hot spots” – would not exist as we know them now.

“Amorim’s commitment to research and development allows us to deliver concrete facts to support our sustainability messaging about cork and to develop new technologies to further cork’s sustainable credentials.” says Pedro Fernandes, General Manager of Amorim Cork America. “While the results of this latest study will enhance the reputation of our traditional cork closures in the eyes of environmentally-conscious wine consumers, we continue to innovate. Our Neutrocork stopper, for example, features a uniform-sized micro cork granule composition that retains up to 392g of CO2.”

Different life cycle stages under a cradle-to-gate approach were studied: forest management activities, cork treatment stages including transport from the forest, and natural cork stoppers production, finishing and packaging. For a fair comparison with previous studies, the distribution of the product from Portugal to the UK was also included, together with additional information regarding carbon sequestration from the cork oak forests.

Impacts relating to the production and consumption of raw materials, plus energy process emissions, water consumption, waste production and transport at each stage were assessed – all of which are considered categories typically used in cork products.

*The study was based on the ISO 14040/44 standards (ISO, 2006), together with guidelines from the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook – General guide for Life Cycle Assessment – Detailed guidance (EC-JRC, 2010).

**The LCA methods used were aligned with the recommendation from Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for still and sparkling wine product environmental footprints (PEF) issued by the European Commission in 2018.

About Corticeira Amorim
Corticeira Amorim is the leading world producer of cork products, having been involved in the industry since 1870 and now producing 5.4 billion cork closures each year. The company’s product portfolio covers various sectors, including, among others, wine, construction, flooring, aeronautics, automotive and footwear. It has implemented an integrated production process that ensures that no cork is wasted, and it supports various initiatives for collecting and recycling cork stoppers across five continents.

About Amorim Cork America
Amorim Cork America is the North American sales and distribution center located in Napa, California. We provide top notch solutions that guarantee a customized approach tailored to each client’s needs. Amorim Cork America’s sales and management team provides expert knowledge to winemakers, technical support, quality assurance managers and wine marketers in all facets of wine cork closures.


ReCORK™ - Recycling Is an Environment-Friendly Gesture
03 February, 2020

Every year around 12 billion cork stoppers are sold worldwide. Recycling, in addition to increasing the reuse of raw materials, enables the life cycle of cork stoppers to be extended. Therefore, not only is it possible to decrease the costs associated with the production of other high value-added products, but also to contribute to a cleaner world.

Cork stoppers absorb CO2 particles which they «inherited» from the bark of the cork oak, a tree which has the important ability to retain CO2 which causes the greenhouse effect. If they are decomposed or incinerated, the CO2 is released into the atmosphere and shall contribute to global warming. Conversely, recycling enables the CO2 retention capacity of cork to be extended. In each tonne of cork stoppers, around 1.83 tonnes of CO2 is retained, which, once they have been recycled, this capacity is ensured forever, as the reuse of this raw material is unlimited.

At Amorim Cork America we are partnered with ReCORK™, North America's largest natural wine cork recycling program. Launched in 2008 by Canadian footwear company SOLE. They are an alliance of businesses and individuals who work together to create environmental change by collecting and repurposing natural wine corks. Recycling your natural wine corks in one of our collection bins ensures that cork is used to replace environmentally harmful, petroleum-based materials in consumer products. The recycling program is "plug-and-play" environmentalism, and we need your help to make it work. Recycle your corks, buy products made from cork, and encourage others to recycle their corks—it's that easy!

We have a recycling center here at Amorim Cork America and would love to have your corks back!

Find out more about how to get involved and where you can drop your recycled corks: www.recork.com

You can also find out more about how to recycle corks on your own from the Napa Recycling Center. Did you know that corks should go into your compost bin? They are 100% biodegradable. http://naparecycling.com/cork-recycling/


Amorim’s Neutrocork® Has Negative Carbon Footprint
17 October, 2019

Research Confirms Amorim’s Commitment to the Circular Economy


At a time when protecting the environment is more important than ever, consumers increasingly prefer cork stoppers because of their impeccable sustainability credentials, in addition to their superior technical capacities in terms of safeguarding the quality of wines.


A September 2018 study produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers for Amorim & Irmãos confirmed that Amorim’s rigorous production control system guarantees excellent quality and a negative carbon footprint for its Neutrocork stoppers – a latest generation technical stopper which guarantees great structural stability.

The Neutrocork stopper is recommended for wines with a certain complexity and has been embraced by thousands of winemakers around the world.

To produce Neutrocork stoppers, natural cork is sourced from cork oak forests and then sorted, boiled, ground, and treated using Amorim’s proprietary ROSA® system. The uniform-sized micro cork granule composition is then pressed into individual moulds.

The 2018 PwC study adopted a Business to Business (Cradle to Gate) approach in which it calculated the carbon footprint until conclusion of the production process and distribution of stoppers to the UK.

The study’s main conclusions included the fact that the Neutrocork stopper has a positive carbon footprint - -342 kg CO2 per ton of product, corresponding to -1.8 kg CO2 per 1000 stoppers (i.e. -1.8 g CO2 per stopper).

Furthermore since production of Neutrocork stopper is integrated within the overall cork production chain, the PwC study considered the carbon sequestration of the cork oak forest associated to cork production, delivering an even higher result - corresponding to a total of -73,342 kg CO2 per ton of product -392 kg CO2 per 1000 stoppers (-392 g CO2 per stopper).

Read Full Article


Amorim Cork Stopper Proved Carbon Positive
17 September, 2019

We cannot contain our excitement about the PricewaterhouseCoopers study on carbon retention in our cork. 

“Following a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, completed at end of last year, and sent to drink business this week, Portugal’s largest cork producer, Amorim, can confirm that its best-selling stopper, Neutrocork, actually retains more carbon than it releases during its production.” 

Check out the full article here to learn more. 


Amorim Combats Counterfeiting with NFC-Enabled Corks
18 July, 2019

Leading cork producer Amorim has released a new range of bartop stoppers, which incorporate near field communication (NFC) technology to tackle counterfeiting. 

Amorim’s new Tap Series uses NFC technology


The new range, called the Tap Series, uses NFC technology to include a microchip containing pre-recorded information, allowing consumers to “confirm the origin and authenticity” of the products.

The microchip holds information such as a serial number, production date and online links that provide exclusive details. NFC-enabled phones will be able to access additional information such as serving and mixing suggestions, product information, promotional campaigns and competitions.

The NFC microchip within the Tap Series also gives producers the opportunity to “develop innovative apps for their spirits”.

The microchip is said to provide a “far more reliable mechanism” than a QR code, which can be easily replicated.

Amorim said the industry faces “increased problems of counterfeiting” with high-tech solutions as the “best way to thwart this trend”.

The Portugal-based cork manufacturer also said that cork closures are already helping to tackle counterfeiting, since cork can’t be locally sourced in the markets where fake products have the highest market share.

Amorim said counterfeiting is a “major problem in fast-expanding spirits markets, including parts of Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa”.


https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2019/07/amorim-combats-counterfeiting-with-nfc-enabled-corks/ 


Amorim's NDtech Awarded as one of the Most Innovative Products from Wine Business for 2019!
17 May, 2019

This year’s winners were selected by the Wine Business Monthly editorial staff, together with the 2019 Innovation + Quality Advisory Board, from a large pool of entries – including new products featured in Wine Business Monthly throughout the past year plus submissions from winemakers around the world. The judging criteria? Innovation and relevance to ultra-premium wineries. Amongst the winners was our NDtech product. We are thrilled!

NDtech by Amorim 

Following a 5-year, €10 million research and development investment, Amorim released NDTech, an individualized quality control screening technology for natural cork stoppers that promises to be a natural cork with a non-detectable TCA guarantee (releasable TCA content at or below the 0.5 ng/L quantification limit; analysis performed in accordance to ISO 20752).


State of the Art Wine Cork Production
10 July, 2017

Amorim is the biggest world producer of cork products and one of the most international of all Portuguese companies, with operations in dozens of countries and all continents.

Amorim’s focus is to produce the finest quality natural corks available.

To do this the company has invested nearly $60 million U.S. dollars over the last six years on new plants, new processes and staff training. The results speak for themselves.

Click here for more information. 


State of the Art Wine Cork Production
10 July, 2017

Amorim is the biggest world producer of cork products and one of the most international of all Portuguese companies, with operations in dozens of countries and all continents.

Amorim’s focus is to produce the finest quality natural corks available.

To do this the company has invested nearly $60 million U.S. dollars over the last six years on new plants, new processes and staff training. The results speak for themselves.

Click here for more information. 


North Americans Prefer Cork Stoppers
26 December, 2016

Recent market research conducted in the USA and Canada provides further confirmation that cork is the preferred wine stopper for consumers, who are willing to pay a significant premium for cork-finished wines.

The preference for cork delivers a major difference in terms of the sales potential of wines.

According to recent data on the US market disclosed by Nielsen Scanning Statistics, for the Top 100 Premium Wine Brands during the 6-year period between June 2010 and June 2016, cork finished wines have enjoyed a 42% increase in sales compared to a 13% increase for wines using alternative closures.

Over the last six years brands finished with cork have enjoyed more robust sales growth than brands finished with alternatives closures and the number of top brands using cork closures is increasing.

Cork-finished wines retail at a significant price premium. Amongst the top 100 Premium Brands the median sales price for cork finished wines, was $13.56 – which is $3.80 (+39%) higher than the median price of wines sealed with alternative closures.

A separate study for the Canadian market, published in July, 2016 by the American Association of Wine Economists, “Importance of eco-logo and closure type on consumer expectations, price perception and willingness to purchase wines in Canada” indicated that cork finished wines are preferred by Canadian consumers, who are willing to pay CAN$1.69 and CAN$1.29 more for wines sealed with natural corks compared to those sealed with synthetic or screw cap closures, respectively.

The study highlights the fact that for consumers the type of stopper is perceived as a key indicator of both a wine’s quality and also influences perception of its eco-friendliness and thus has a major impact on purchase decisions.

Furthermore, the study revealed that eco- conscious consumers pay significantly greater attention to the use of natural cork stoppers than any other environmental friendly claims, including the presence of eco-logos on the wine label.

Further analysis on recent trends in the North American wine industry is provided in an article published in February, 2016 in The Atlantic magazine, entitled “How Millennials (Almost) Killed the Wine Cork”.

The article suggests that Millenials (i.e. persons born after the mid-1980s) were initially keen to try out alternative closures, as part of a wider attraction to try out new trends, but have now shifted strongly back in favour of cork, in particular due to its quality and sustainability credentials.

The article clarifies that key factors explaining the progressive appeal of cork amongst all wine consumers, including Millenials, are the rigorous quality control measures that have been adopted in the cork industry, delivering a 95 percent reduction in TCA since 2001 according to tests conducted by the Cork Quality Council, and growing awareness of cork’s multiple environmental benefits.

These findings for the North American market confirm recent market research that has consistently shown that over 85% of wine consumers in other key world markets - such as France, China, Italy and Spain – overwhelmingly prefer cork, which is valued as a guarantee of quality, a natural and environmentally friendly closure, and an integral part of the wine and spirits experience.


AMORIM: PORTUGUESE CORK EXPORTS TO HIT €1BN BY 2017
12 August, 2016

Head of the world’s largest cork producer, Antonio Amorim, believes that Portuguese cork exports will reach €1 billion by 2017.

“I believed that Portuguese cork exports would reach €1 billion in 2020, but now I think they will reach that in 2017,” he told the drinks business during a meeting in Portugal last month.

Continuing, he explained that reaching €1 billion in exports would require Portugal’s stopper business to increase by €100m from €900m today, and, in terms of volume, that would represent a growth of 1 billion corks.

Helping cork reach this target is both increasing wine sales in markets such as the US and China, growing fine wine sales, a surging sparkling wine business and, he hopes, a shift to cork from other types of closure.

“I want us to grow by another 1 billion cork stoppers and I want to get that back from plastics and screwcaps,” he said.

However, he also said that other trends would help the cork business, with US and China both growth areas due to the expanding wine market in these countries, and the fact that both these nations have a preference for cork-sealed bottles.

He also mentioned the growth in sparkling wine demand worldwide, which are products almost entirely closed with cork, while stating Amorim’s dominance when it comes to sealing sparkling wines.

“We bought in 2007 and 2012 the two most important competitors we had in sparkling stoppers and now, without acquisitions, we are growing organically,” he said, referring to Amorim’s purchase of Spain’s Oller Group in 2007 and then, five years later, Trefinos, a holding company with six firms in Spain, France and Italy that produce sparkling wine stoppers.

Speaking about the top-end of the still wine business, he said that volumes were small but growing.

“Last year in Bordeaux they were bottling the 2013 vintage, and they had ... 

Continue reading at The Drinks Business - http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2016/07/amorim-wants-to-grow-by-one-billion-corks/


Cork Stoppers Mean Quality Wine
18 July, 2016

Consumers believe that cork best preserves the natural properties of wines. They are willing to pay between R$ 13.00 (€4.05) and R$ 15.00 (€4.67) more for a wine sealed with a natural cork stopper Brazilian consumers consider that the type of stopper used in a wine bottle is an indicator of its quality, according to the latest study commissioned by APCOR – the Portuguese Cork Association, conducted by Ibope / Conecta in the Brazilian market. Cork is considered to be a premium raw material that adds value to wine.

According to the study, consumers are willing to pay between R$ 13.00 (€4.05) and R$ 15.00 (€4.67) more for a wine sealed with a natural cork stopper. This is a clear sign of the valorisation of a wine associated to a cork stopper, in comparison with wines sealed with other types of stoppers – such as plastic stoppers or aluminium screwcaps. This perception also extends to younger age groups. In this context, 80% of respondents associate natural cork stoppers to the upper tier of wines and consider that cork is the solution which best preserves the natural properties of wines. This factor is also directly linked to respondents’ social class. For example respondents from the social class A also identify opening a bottle sealed with a cork stopper as a moment of unique charm – provided by the characteristic “popping” sound that is one of the most recognizable sounds in the world. 50% of respondents also value cork’s sustainable credentials, the only option that constitutes a natural, clean and renewable stopper.

  • USA 94% of consumers prefer natural cork stoppers (Tragon Corp.)
  • Italy 85% of consumers consider that cork is the best stopper to ensure the quality of wine (AstraRicerche)
  • France 89% of wine drinkers prefer cork stoppers and 89.8% state that cork stoppers preserve all the wine’s aromas (Ipsos)
  • China 85% of consumers believe that wines sealed with cork are higher quality (CTR Market Research)
  • Spain 92% of consumers prefer cork stoppers (Cork Project)

The Three Ages of Wine Cork Production: A Visit to Corticeira Amorim
17 June, 2016

It is impossible to drive through the Alentejo region of Portugal without seeing the dark trees that dot the landscape. Pretty soon you notice the lines on the trunks where the bark has been harvested and then you know for sure that you are in a cork oak (Quercus suber) forest, the densest concentration of these trees in the world (see map above).

Cork’s Medieval Roots

Planting a cork oak tree is a statement of faith in the future. The first harvest must wait for 15 years and then the cork will be of low quality, unsuitable for natural cork closures. The second and better harvest that yields more usable cork comes 9 years later. Only 9  years after that (and every 9 years into the future) can the highest quality cork be taken. Few other things in the world of wine (producing 40-year old Tawny Port, for example) can compare to cork in terms of optimistic forward thinking.

Sue and I visited both Porto and Alentejo during our recent trip to Portugal and Antonio Amorim and Carlos de Jesus of Corticeira Amorim, the world leader in cork closures, invited us to visit their factories in these two regions to see first-hand what I am calling the Three Ages of cork.

Cork is an ancient product — the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans all sealed their wine jars with cork. The harvesting of it is laborious hand work since each tree has its own configuration. Photos of modern cork

 harvests could easily be mistaken for medieval paintings.

Industrial Revolution

Stepping into the Amorim factory in Coruche, you get an initial sense of moving forward in time to the industrial revolution. There is still a lot of hand work here. Sorting the processed cork bark pieces, for example, still requires human judgement as they are inspected and graded for quality one at a time. The key to making a profit in cork is to waste nothing, so each cork piece must go to its best use and the waste at each step recycled into a lower-priced product.

Almost nothing is thrown away. One item that was headed for the power-supplying waste burner was a piece of cork that was badly infected with TCA, the source of cork taint. What a horrible smell!  Until a machine can consistently detect all the potential problems with cork including TCA, cracking, insect damage and so on, these workers’ jobs are very secure.

The factory was loud with the clamber of industrial machinery as every task that could be mechanized was mechanized. It gave me a sense of what those 19th century British textile mills must have been like.

Interestingly, the finest corks closures made from the best quality raw material are hand-punched by skilled craftsmen (see photo above). These corks need to be as close to perfect as possible and so far nothing can replace the human eye for seeing just where the cork’s sweet spot is (and what parts should be recycled down the line for other products).

NDtech: Cork for the 21st Century

It would be easy to think of cork just this way — a medieval product made using industrial revolution technology — but this viewpoint misses a lot as we learned when we visited Amorim’s second factory near Porto.

Here we saw many of the same processes as in the south, but the focus was different because Carlos and Antonio wanted us to see the progress that has been made at improving cork closures and addressing the issues that allowed synthetic stoppers and screw cap technology to make dramatic inroads in this market.

Innovative new production processes and seriously obsessive attention to detail have now all but eliminated the incidence of detectable TCA contamination in Amorim corks throughout the product line, which is a big deal and came only after intense and expensive research and process innovation. But that was not good enough and so earlier this year Amorim unveiled its latest innovation, NDtech corks.

Amorim scientists guided us into the controlled environment that you see in the video above and we saw the NDtech (think non-detectible TCA levels) process at work. ndTech really does individually-inspect each and every cork that goes through the process and guarantees then all to be TCA-free at human sensory threshold levels.

Amorim is convinced that the process works and we saw persuasive data about these and other Amorim cork closures. Now the challenge is to scale up to meet the demand for these, the very best corks that can be made.

Three Ages in One Product

I find  it interesting that cork is so many things at once. It is a natural product, of course, but one that is necessarily harvested and then processed by hand and manufactured using machines and processes from a variety of periods. It is also increasingly a technological product.

Making excellent cork closures is complicated as we saw at the Amorim factories and doing so profitably is even more complicated. We were impressed with the way that every scrap and bit of cork is put to use in closures and other cork products and every ounce of value realized. Environmental and economic sustainability go hand-in-hand.

Meeting the challenge of synthetic and screw-cap closures has not been easy for cork producers, who saw a some of their market share disappear. Hard work, expensive research and technical innovation has turned this around, however, and now many consumers and wineries who moved away from cork in the past are taking a new look.

Someone once accused the economist John Maynard Keynes of expressing a view that was inconsistent with his previous statements.” When the facts change,” Keynes replied, “I change my opinion. What do you do?” The facts about cork — especially the TCA situation — have changed in the past few years. No wonder many people in the industry have revised their views on cork.

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Many thanks to Antonio Amorim and Carlos de Jesus for he opportunity to see the three ages of cork with our own eyes and learn about the scientific progress from the experts. This concludes the short series of past-present-future stories from the Alentejo. Come back next week for a look at some unexpected wine tourism opportunities we found in Portugal.

To view more on this article visit The Wine Economist


Amorim Delivers World's First Natural Corks With Non-Detectable TCA Guarantee
16 May, 2016

Global Leader in Cork Production Provides U.S. Wineries Innovative Wine Packaging Technology

Amorim (http://www.amorimcork.com/en/), the world’s leading cork producer, has achieved a major technological breakthrough to become the world’s first cork producer to produce and deliver natural cork stoppers to winemakers with a non-detectable TCA guarantee.*

Known as NDtech, the cutting-edge technology greatly enhances Amorim’s quality control measures by screening individual cork stoppers on the production line to eliminate the risk of corks contaminated with 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) reaching winemakers.

“Until now, no cork producer has been able to engage independent, scientific validation for a quality control system for natural cork stoppers that screens corks individually,” said Amorim’s research and development director Dr. Miguel Cabral.

“We have been working to achieve this goal for several years. Now we can examine an individual cork using sophisticated gas chromatography in just seconds, making the technology practical on a major industrial scale.”

Two of the world’s leading wine industry research facilities — Germany’s Hochschule Geisenheim and The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) — are currently engaged in the validation of the performance of NDtech.

“The fact that Amorim’s NDtech is the only individual cork screening technology to engage in validation from both Geisenheim and the AWRI underlines the magnitude of this Amorim technological breakthrough,” said Cabral.

Previously, gas chromatography examination took up to 14 minutes, making it impossible to use on production lines. Instead, Amorim applied the technology in laboratory-controlled batch testing as part of its quality control measures for the 4.2 billion corks it produces each year — and at the same time worked to improve the technology so it could be used in production.

The development of the super-fast NDtech follows a five-year, approximately $10 million research and development investment by Amorim and a partnership with a British company specializing in gas chromatography.

With incredibly high precision, NDtech can detect any cork with more than 0.5 nanograms of TCA per liter (parts per trillion). These corks are removed from the production line automatically.

The level of precision necessary to meet this standard on an industrial scale for the individual corks examined is astounding, especially given that the detection threshold of 0.5 nanograms/liter can be the equivalent of one drop of water in 800 Olympic-size swimming pools.

NDtech is complemented by Amorim’s existing preventive, curative and quality control measures, including the patented ROSA Evolution treatment used during production.

As the world’s leading cork producer, Amorim has stood at the forefront of the fight against TCA — a naturally forming chemical compound that is a problem in the packaged food and beverage industries — through the application of rigorous production standards and certified quality control methods.

“Amorim has experienced phenomenal growth in demand for natural cork stoppers over the past five years with annual sales increasing from three billion cork stoppers to more than four billion,” said Amorim’s chairman and CEO António Amorim.

“This is due, in part, to increasing awareness of cork’s environmental and technical advantages and acknowledgement of the added value that a quality natural cork closure brings to bottled wine. Now, with NDtech, we have made the world’s best wine stopper even better.”

NDtech will initially be applied to Amorim’s top-end natural cork stoppers used on some of the world’s most valuable wine brands. U.S. wineries are among the first to utilize natural cork stoppers that have undergone NDtech screening.

“The initial response from U.S. winemakers has been as positive as we had anticipated, especially given the important role that premium wine packaging has in a market as sophisticated as the United States,” said Amorim Cork America’s general manager Pedro Fernandes.

This groundbreaking technology presents U.S. winemakers with an opportunity to harness the unique benefits of sustainable natural cork knowing that Amorim has examined and guarantees each individual stopper.

“The introduction of NDtech after several years of development again highlights Amorim’s tenacious commitment to continually building upon its well-established and industry-leading quality control measures.”

*A non-detectable TCA guarantee means that if any TCA remains in a cork it is below the detection threshold of 0.5 nanograms/litre.

About Amorim

Tracing its roots back to the 19th century, Amorim (http://www.amorimcork.com/en/) is the largest producer and supplier of cork stoppers worldwide with sales of more than $680 million (€605 million). Amorim sells to over 15,000 active clients in 82 countries, including some of the world’s most renowned wine, Champagne, and spirits producers. With an annual production of more than four billion cork stoppers, it is evident that Amorim is well-equipped to meet the high performance demands of the industry. Additionally, Amorim and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a conservationist effort to guarantee the survival of hundreds of thousands of cork trees throughout the Mediterranean Basin.


Amorim Towards Sustainable Development
25 March, 2016

Amorim is recognized as a global leader in sustainable business practices. Founded in 1870 by the Amorim family, the company has grown to become the largest producer of natural cork wine cork closures in the world.

 

The emergence of a new paradigm – the viability of the activities carried out from a standpoint that simultaneously incorporates the economic, social and environmental aspects of these activities – has determined the growing importance of the contribution of every actor, whether a company or a consumer, to building a better world.

In this area, Amorim, in addition to benefiting from a gift of Nature – transforming a natural raw material, extracted cyclically from the trees without harming them, promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification, making available high value added products that maintain the unique and intrinsic characteristics of cork, in an integrated transformation process that practically does not produce waste – has regulated its activity by adopting and strengthening sustainable development practices.

In 2007, the company became the first cork supplier in the world to receive FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council™) certification from the Rainforest Alliance for its natural cork closures. These prestigious certifications are your guarantee that corks grown and manufactured under this accreditation meet the highest standards of sustainable, socially responsible forestry practices. Amorim and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a conservationist effort to guarantee the survival of hundreds of thousands of cork trees throughout the Mediterranean Basin, a natural and renewable resource that plays a key role in CO2 retention, in preserving biodiversity and in combating desertification.

 

Did You Know?

Cork Oaks (Quercus Suber) can and live to be over 200 years old.


A Little Bit of Cork History
14 August, 2015

The cork stopper has unique innate qualities, which interact beneficially with wine. It contributes to developing its character, gives it authenticity and brings it value. Cork, which is just as natural and noble as wine, benefits from the production of wine and reciprocates with premium performance stoppers. Both industries have grown together over the centuries.

When Dom Pierre Pérignon decided to swap the wooden stoppers in use in the mid-17th century for cork stoppers, he caused an unprecedented change of events in the wine industry. The French monk, who would become famous for his champagne, sought an alternative to the stoppers used at the time, which were wrapped in hemp soaked in olive oil, failed to provide an effective seal, played a dubious role in the preservation of wine and were always popping out. The solution was cork.

Thousand of years before, the Egyptians had already used cork, followed by the Greeks and Romans, as amphorae discovered in Pompeii bear witness. It was, however, the driving force of Dom Pérignon that paved the way for the use of cork associated with the fast growth of the wine industry. In Portugal, during the following century, where today the centre of the cork and Port Wine industries is found, wine was allowed to age in glass cylindrical bottles for the first time. Thus, it was the simultaneous development of cork stoppers and wine bottles which made the modern wine industry possible.


Amorim Towards Sustainable Development
12 June, 2015

Amorim is recognized as a global leader in sustainable business practices. Founded in 1870 by the Amorim family, the company has grown to become the largest producer of natural cork wine cork closures in the world.

The emergence of a new paradigm – the viability of the activities carried out from a standpoint that simultaneously incorporates the economic, social and environmental aspects of these activities – has determined the growing importance of the contribution of every actor, whether a company or a consumer, to building a better world.

In this area, Amorim, in addition to benefiting from a gift of Nature – transforming a natural raw material, extracted cyclically from the trees without harming them, promoting the economic and social sustainability of areas at risk of desertification, making available high value added products that maintain the unique and intrinsic characteristics of cork, in an integrated transformation process that practically does not produce waste – has regulated its activity by adopting and strengthening sustainable development practices.

In 2007, the company became the first cork supplier in the world to receive FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council™) certification from the Rainforest Alliance for its natural cork closures. These prestigious certifications are your guarantee that corks grown and manufactured under this accreditation meet the highest standards of sustainable, socially responsible forestry practices. Amorim and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a conservationist effort to guarantee the survival of hundreds of thousands of cork trees throughout the Mediterranean Basin, a natural and renewable resource that plays a key role in CO2 retention, in preserving biodiversity and in combating desertification.


Inseparable by nature
20 June, 2014

The cork stopper has unique innate qualities, which interact beneficially with wine. It contributes to developing its character, gives it authenticity and brings it value. Cork, which is just as natural and noble as wine, benefits from the production of wine and reciprocates with premium performance stoppers. Both industries have grown together over the centuries.

When Dom Pierre Pérignon decided to swap the wooden stoppers in use in the mid-17th century for cork stoppers, he caused an unprecedented change of events in the wine industry. The French monk, who would become famous for his champagne, sought an alternative to the stoppers used at the time, which were wrapped in hemp soaked in olive oil, failed to provide an effective seal, played a dubious role in the preservation of wine and were always popping out. The solution was cork.

Thousand of years before, the Egyptians had already used cork, followed by the Greeks and Romans, as amphorae discovered in Pompeii bear witness. It was, however, the driving force of Dom Pérignon that paved the way for the use of cork associated with the fast growth of the wine industry. In Portugal, during the following century, where today the centre of the cork and Port Wine industries is found, wine was allowed to age in glass cylindrical bottles for the first time. Thus, it was the simultaneous development of cork stoppers and wine bottles which made the modern wine industry possible.

A SOPHISTICATED NATURAL VALVE

It is believed that just as sparkling wines favour the use of cork, it also played a decisive role in affirming this famous wine. Its natural characteristics - light, easy to compress, impermeable, resistant to moisture and rot, and its resilience - make it an inimitable stopper. It protects wine from variations in temperature and prevents it from deteriorating over time. The discovery of a collection of 168 bottles of champagne in perfect condition, shipwrecked in the Baltic Sea around two hundred years ago, bears witness to the cork stopper's unique ability to preserve wines and champagnes all over the world.

Research carried out by the University of Bordeaux suggests that cork contributes in a unique way to the development of wine. The secret is a complex structure, which technology is yet to replicate. Each cork stopper is a sophisticated natural valve, made up of around 800 million tiny cells of suberin (almost 40 million cells per cubic centimetre), filled with an air-like gas.

When compressed, they behave like a cushion and constantly try to return to their original shape and size, thus adapting to the bottleneck and maintaining a tight seal. It is the air cells that allow a tiny amount of oxygen to permeate the bottle after it has been sealed, which has a beneficial impact on the development of the wine.

«I am certain that cork is the perfect option to seal a bottle of wine. It is a noble and reliable gift from nature.»


ALFONSO LARRAIN
PRESIDENT, CONCHA Y TORO, CHILE

PREMIUM AND ASPIRATIONAL FACTOR

The world's finest wines have always used cork stoppers. Even in the case of champagnes, prestigious wine producers such as Ruinart de Reims and Moët et Chandon, have used them since the 18th century. Currently, producers such as Amorim apply their know-how to the development of new and better solutions which allow the use of a premium product to be broadened to fast consumption wines and spirits, creating products geared towards specific segments. For example, the most expensive whisky in the world, the Dalmore Trinitas 64, and the oldest, the Mortlach 70 years old, by Gordon & MacPhail, are sealed with Amorim cork stoppers.

After a period where some losses in the market share for cork stoppers were seen, the increase in global wine consumption and the confidence of oenologists and consumers have contributed to further growth, particularly in the USA and in some emerging markets such as China, Russia and other non-cork producing countries. Among the reasons which motivate the choice of the cork stopper is the growing perception of the premium and aspirational factors - it is associated with good or excellent quality wines.

Several surveys and market research show that both consumers and wine producers increasingly elect cork also because it is a natural and environment friendly product. They value its traditional association with wine and the fact that it enables it to develop in all its splendour.


AMORIM OPENS NEW SALES AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN NAPA
31 January, 2013

NAPA, Calif., January 29, 2013 — Amorim Cork America, the U.S. sales and distribution arm of the world’s largest wine stopper producer, announced today the opening, on February 1, of its new North American sales and distribution center located in the heart of the Napa Valley.

Amorim Cork America’s General Manager, Pedro Fernandes, says the 3.3-acre, 50,000 square foot facility is the newest and most modern facility of its kind in the world. “Building this facility is part of a strategic investment in the future of both the US wine industry and the natural cork industry,” states Fernandes. “We have been working with Cushman & Wakefield Realtors for some time to find the perfect site to best serve our clients – and we found it! The decision to expand was based, in part, on our double digit growth over the past few years and, most certainly, due to the robust preference for natural cork as the closure of choice for the majority of American winemakers and millions of US consumers.”

In keeping with the company’s strong corporate-wide sustainability philosophy, Amorim’s new facility incorporates energy-efficient technology wherever possible. This includes the integration of vast amounts of natural lighting, the use of sustainable construction materials with enhanced building temperature-control features, wastepaper and packaging recycling, the use of recycled irrigation water for landscaping, and even a small planting of natural cork trees for education and beauty. In addition, electric vehicle-charging stations for four vehicles, and a rooftop solar system are being engineered for future use.

About CORTICEIRA AMORIM, SGPS, S.A.

While tracing its roots to the XIX Century, CORTICEIRA AMORIM SGPS has become the world’s largest cork company in the world, generating EUR 495 (666 USD) million in sales throughout 103 countries. CORTICEIRA AMORIM SGPS and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a conservationist effort to guarantee the survival of millions of cork trees throughout the Mediterranean Basin. We are proud of our contribution to the proper use of this important natural forest, which plays a fundamental role in CO2 fixing, preservation of biodiversity and the fight against desertification. We encourage you to learn more by visiting informative websites such as www.corkfacts.com. For additional information about Amorim Cork America, please visit www.amorimca.com. Amorim’s new distribution center is located at 360 Devlin Rd., Napa, CA 94558. 707-224-6000.

###


Cork supplier chooses premium highway spot
30 October, 2012

 




It’s hard to miss the large industrial building that seemingly popped up overnight along the west side of Highway 29 near the county airport exit. Located on a prominent spot on Devlin Road in the Napa Valley Gateway Business Park, the structure will become the new home for Amorim Cork America.

According to its website, Amorim, which has been operating from a smaller nearby facility, is among the world’s biggest producers of cork products, with operations in dozens of countries including its home country of Portugal.

A company news release reported that Amorim sold 3 billion wine stoppers in 2010. In the United States, Amorim registered a 22 percent growth in sales volume and a 20 percent increase in sales revenue, the release said.

In November 2011, the company bought the 3-acre parcel from owners Joseph and Deborah Lopez for $1.32 million, according to county recorder documents.

The project should be completed by the end of the year, said Amorim General Manager Pedro Fernandes. “This investment is in line with our strategy to better serve our customers and address expected growth in the near future,” he said.

While Fernandes would not discuss the cost for the project, he called it “substantial.” The general manager said the company chose a site with highway frontage with the goal of “increasing the visibility and making a more prominent image for our company.”

The company’s U.S. base has been located on Napa Valley Corporate Drive for approximately 15 years, occupying 23,000 square feet, with 25 employees, Fernandes said. He didn’t elaborate on hiring plans.

Chris Neeb and colleagues at Cushman & Wakefield represented Amorim in the purchase. The high-exposure location was a requirement for the company, Neeb said.

“From day one they conveyed to us they want to be on Highway 29,” Neeb said.

County planning documents report that the project will include 48,133 square feet of floor area for warehousing, distribution and office areas and parking for 65 vehicles.

The building design “engages with the character of the Napa Valley” with a sloped roof, earth-toned color palette and stone accents, said the planning report. A rain garden will be fed by a canopy roof and the property will include a pedestrian path that “gently meanders” near Devlin Road. Two electric vehicle charging stations servicing four vehicles will be installed.

Amorim’s nearest neighbor will be food manufacturer Made in Napa Valley. Across the street is the yet-to-be-developed Montalcino golf resort.

“It’s a beautiful building,” said Gary Van Dam of Strong and Hayden Commercial Real Estate. “That is one of the best industrial sites in Napa County.”

Van Dam speculated that Amorim paid a 20 percent premium for the location that offers exposure to tens of thousands of cars daily. If clients didn’t know the Amorim name before, they will now, he said.

“It’s wonderful” to have businesses growing in the industrial area, Van Dam said. “Hopefully this is the beginning of more industry coming to Napa.”

Sean Trippi, the county planner for the project, noted that commercial building in the south county area has declined. The slowdown of the economy really affected the development rate out there, he said.

“We used to see a fairly steady amount of planning applications,” perhaps five to six per year, Trippi said. “Now we get one to two, if that ... and some (projects) get approved but not necessarily constructed in a time frame you might have seen previously.”

Amorim’s sister company Portocork America is also located in the south Napa business park on Gateway Drive. That firm is growing as well, President Dustin Mowe said. The business has expanded from 40,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet within two buildings, he said.

The two companies do compete with each other, Mowe said, but “there’s enough business for everybody.”

Cushman & Wakefield is also leasing a 107,000-square-foot industrial space at 1560 Airport Boulevard. Owner Metropolitan Van and Storage occupies part of the building, with Delicato Vineyards and others as additional tenants, Neeb said.

Neeb said vacancy rates in the airport industrial area are declining.

“Activity has been pretty strong and consistent over the past year,” he said.

Lease rates range from 65 to 80 cents per square foot, plus taxes, maintenance and insurance, and depending on the tenant improvements.

 

October 28, 2012 10:12 pm  • 

 

 


Amorim becomes patron of WSET
14 May, 2012

Cork producer Amorim has become a patron of the worldwide Wine & Spirit Education Trust and will help fund an expenses-paid study scholarship to Portugal.

The bronze patron agreement will include a trip for two WSET graduates, one based in the UK and one from the WSET's international student base, to learn about the cork industry.

Students will learn about the traditional cork harvest in the Alentejo forests, and will visit Amorim's production units and R&D laboratories in their Porto HQ.

Chief executive of the WSET, Ian Harris, said: "The WSET welcomes Amorim into our wide-ranging portfolio of patrons. We aim to give our students the opportunity to learn about every aspect of the wine trade – and closures are no exception. These scholarships will offer a valuable insight into the natural cork industry."

Carlos de Jesus, Amorim's head of marketing & communication, said:  "This will be a unique opportunity for two holders of the WSET Level 3 qualification to learn first hand about cork stoppers, and the unrivalled performance and environmental benefits offered by this 100% sustainable, natural material."

"We are delighted to be supporting the excellent educational work that the WSET carries out at all levels and we appreciate the importance of encouraging the next generation of the international wine trade."

The winners of the first Amorim scholarships will be selected in November, during the WSET's Viva Voce day, and announced at the WSET Awards & Graduation Ceremony on January 21, 2013.


Amorim and MCC Association showcase of best bubblies set for 2012
01 May, 2012

The 11th Amorim Cork Méthode Cap Classique Challenge, South Africa's leading competition for MCC wines, is to be held in an auspicious year for Amorim as 2012 celebrates this Portuguese cork company's 30th anniversary of doing business in the country.
 
This year’s competition will be organized by Amorim and the MCC Association, which represents most of the producers of this growing wine category.

“The annual MCC Challenge has been an annual highlight of our marketing activities and has allowed Amorim to become part of a tremendously exciting category in the South African wine industry,” says Joaquim Sa, managing director of Amorim South Africa.

“Since our initial involvement 11 years ago, Amorim and the MCC Association have seen the quality of Cap Classique wines evolve at a tremendous rate. The quality improves each year and the passion shown by the producers has created a category of which the South African consumer just cannot seem to get enough. This is a true South African success story, one of which the rest of the world is aware.”

According to Pieter Ferreira, chairperson of the MCC Association, the Amorim MCC Challenge plays a major role in promoting Cap Classique. “It encourages producers to aim higher, something they now have to do seeing that the general quality of MCC is improving in leaps and bounds,” says Ferreira. “But the competition also generates a fizz among the public – everyone just loves a winner, this is a fact. And each year’s winning producers all admit to an increase in the demand for their products once the winners have been announced.” 

This year’s judging will be held on 28 August, with the winners being announced on 20 September. Members of the MCC Association and other producers will be notified once entries open. 

The competition rewards top-performing wines in four categories, namely Non-Vintage, Vintage, Blanc de Blancs and Rosé. 2012 will see the introduction of a Museum Class for wines of seven years and older.

AMORIM ACHIEVES WINE CORK SALES RECORD
01 March, 2011

Media Release: 25 February 2011
AMORIM ACHIEVES WINE CORK SALES RECORD
Amorim, the world’s leading cork producer, has announced record annual
sales, with more than 3 billion wine stoppers sold in 2010.
The outstanding sales volume figure was included in the company’s 2010
financial results released recently.
Amorim’s Cork Stoppers Business Unit — the company’s core business —
posted a sales volume increase of 13.8 per cent, further consolidating its
position as the world’s largest supplier of wine stoppers.
Amorim recorded significant sales volume and sales revenue growth in all of
its major ‘Old World’ wine markets, with France, Italy and Spain breaking
historical sales volumes with growth rates ranging from 10 to 29 per cent.
Double-digit sales revenue growth was also recorded in prominent ‘New
World’ wine markets such as Argentina and Australia, with the latter posting a
significant 17.4 per cent increase in sales revenue. In Chile, Amorim’s growth
reached 9.1 per cent.
In the United States, Amorim registered a 22 per cent growth in sales volume
and a 20 per cent increase in sales revenue, posting yet another sales record
in this key market.
A return to natural cork closures by major retailers in the United Kingdom saw
unit sales in this market increase by almost 50 per cent in 2010.
Sales of all types of stoppers were higher worldwide including whole natural
cork closures, champagne stoppers and technical corks.
“Passing the 3 billion barrier is an exceptional result — particularly when you
consider that in 2010 we were emerging from the global financial crisis,” said
Amorim’s chairman and CEO, António Amorim.
“Along with the outstanding sales result, we witnessed strong consumer
preference for cork in the US, an increase in the use of cork by the ‘Top 100’
US wine brands and a return to cork by major supermarkets in the UK.
“There was also recognition in the wine and spirits industries that Amorim is
the company to talk to for key projects, particularly when it comes to sealing
the world’s most precious beverages.”
Mr Amorim said that natural cork was enjoying a renaissance in many sectors
— including building, design and fashion — due to a growing understanding of
the added value that natural cork brings to a product.
“This is also evident in the drinks sector with increasing awareness of cork’s
environmental advantages and acknowledgement of the added value of a
quality natural cork closure.
“In the wine industry, we have seen a number of wineries return to cork in the
past 12 months based on significant improvements in cork’s performance,
consumer preference, sustainability and concerns over issues with alternative
closures.”
The annual worldwide market for wine stoppers is estimated at 17 billion with
the cork industry producing approximately 12 billion stoppers, giving it 70 per
cent of the total global wine closure market.
Amorim’s 2010 sales result means it now accounts for about 26 per cent of
total cork stopper sales for the year and has greater sales volume than any of
the types of alternative wine closures currently in the market place.
* * *
For additional information:
Carlos de Jesus, Amorim, Portugal
Phone: + 351 22 747 5519
E-mail: carlos.dejesus.ai@amorim.com
ABOUT CORTICEIRA AMORIM, SGPS, S.A.
Tracing its roots to the 19th century, Corticeira Amorim has become the largest cork and
cork-derived company in the world, generating over Euro 450 million in sales throughout more
than 100 countries. Corticeira Amorim and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a
conservation effort to guarantee the survival of hundreds of thousands of cork oak trees
throughout the Mediterranean Basin. We are proud of our contribution to the correct utilisation
of these important forests that represent a key role in CO2 retention, preserving biodiversity
and preventing desertification. We encourage you to learn more by visiting informative
websites such as www.corkfacts.com or www.realcork.org or www.corticeiraamorim.coAMORIM ACHIEVES WINE CORK SALES RECORD

Amorim, the world’s leading cork producer, has announced record annual sales, with more than 3 billion wine stoppers sold in 2010.

The outstanding sales volume figure was included in the company’s 2010 financial results released recently.

Amorim’s Cork Stoppers Business Unit — the company’s core business — posted a sales volume increase of 13.8 per cent, further consolidating its position as the world’s largest supplier of wine stoppers.

Amorim recorded significant sales volume and sales revenue growth in all of its major ‘Old World’ wine markets, with France, Italy and Spain breaking historical sales volumes with growth rates ranging from 10 to 29 per cent.

Double-digit sales revenue growth was also recorded in prominent ‘New World’ wine markets such as Argentina and Australia, with the latter posting a significant 17.4 per cent increase in sales revenue. In Chile, Amorim’s growth reached 9.1 per cent.

In the United States, Amorim registered a 22 per cent growth in sales volume and a 20 per cent increase in sales revenue, posting yet another sales record in this key market.

A return to natural cork closures by major retailers in the United Kingdom saw unit sales in this market increase by almost 50 per cent in 2010.

Sales of all types of stoppers were higher worldwide including whole natural cork closures, champagne stoppers and technical corks.

“Passing the 3 billion barrier is an exceptional result — particularly when you consider that in 2010 we were emerging from the global financial crisis,” said Amorim’s chairman and CEO, António Amorim.

“Along with the outstanding sales result, we witnessed strong consumer preference for cork in the US, an increase in the use of cork by the ‘Top 100’ US wine brands and a return to cork by major supermarkets in the UK.

“There was also recognition in the wine and spirits industries that Amorim is the company to talk to for key projects, particularly when it comes to sealing the world’s most precious beverages.”

Mr Amorim said that natural cork was enjoying a renaissance in many sectors — including building, design and fashion — due to a growing understanding of the added value that natural cork brings to a product.

“This is also evident in the drinks sector with increasing awareness of cork’s environmental advantages and acknowledgement of the added value of a quality natural cork closure.

“In the wine industry, we have seen a number of wineries return to cork in the past 12 months based on significant improvements in cork’s performance, consumer preference, sustainability and concerns over issues with alternative closures.”

The annual worldwide market for wine stoppers is estimated at 17 billion with the cork industry producing approximately 12 billion stoppers, giving it 70 per cent of the total global wine closure market.

Amorim’s 2010 sales result means it now accounts for about 26 per cent of total cork stopper sales for the year and has greater sales volume than any of the types of alternative wine closures currently in the market place.

* * *

For additional information:

Carlos de Jesus, Amorim, Portugal

Phone: + 351 22 747 5519

E-mail: carlos.dejesus.ai@amorim.com

ABOUT CORTICEIRA AMORIM, SGPS, S.A.

Tracing its roots to the 19th century, Corticeira Amorim has become the largest cork and

cork-derived company in the world, generating over Euro 450 million in sales throughout more

than 100 countries. Corticeira Amorim and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a

conservation effort to guarantee the survival of hundreds of thousands of cork oak trees

throughout the Mediterranean Basin. We are proud of our contribution to the correct utilisation

of these important forests that represent a key role in CO2 retention, preserving biodiversity

and preventing desertification. We encourage you to learn more by visiting informative

websites such as www.corkfacts.com or www.realcork.org or www.corticeiraamorim.com