Portocork is the premier supplier of natural cork closures to the North American wine industry. For nearly a quarter-of-a-century, our company has produced a wide range of natural cork closures, ranging from high-end still and sparkling wine cork to 1+1 and Microagglomerated cork products designed for value wines.
Portocork is proud to be the first in our industry to screen every single United States-bound cork bale for 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Since 2001, we have experienced an 80% reduction in TCA scores through the use of this technology.
Portocork was established in 1983 through a partnership between Portocork International and Fleming Packaging Group of Napa. The partnership continued until 1996 when Portocork International acquired 100% of Portocork America.
Portocork was a founding member of the Cork Quality Council (CQC) which was established in 1993 with the goal of continuing to increase quality standards and awareness of the benefits of natural cork. Portocork co-sponsored TCA research that was conducted jointly by the CQC and ETS Laboratories to establish a non-subjective cork testing methodology using GC/MS. Portocork continues as an active CQC member today.
Portocork International, located in Santa Maria de lamas, Portugal, is the world's most technologically-advanced producer of cork. Portocork has developed ultra-modern production facilities to process natural cork which is sourced only from company owned and leased natural forests that have existed in Portugal for decades. We control the cork from the time it is harvested until it arrives at your winery. This complementary combination of centuries-old natural practices and state-of-the-art production facilities, along with rigorous testing both in our ISO-9002 certified Portuguese facilities (with in-house GC/MS) and our California facility located in the Napa Valley, assures that our cork is the highest quality and most consistent cork year after year. Portocork America provides the world's finest cork.
Natural Cork Closures
Natural cork is a cylindrical stopper obtained by punching raw cork with manual or automatic machines.
Twin Top® Closures
Twin Top® is a closure based on Champagne cork technology that has a granulated body with a disk of high-quality natural cork at each end.
Neutrocork® is a high-tech, competitively priced stopper designed for early-drinking still wines, light sparkling wines and beer.
Champagne stoppers are closures designed specifically to meet the unique needs of Champagne and sparkling wine producers.
FAQs About Our Products
Portocork America already controls the North American market for producing natural cork stoppers, but not all of them are being sold to vintners. A growing number are finding their way into beer and hard spirits bottles.
Read the full article in the Press Democrat including interview with Portocork President Dustin Mowe
This revolutionary technology has the capability to add traceability and identifiable numbering and/or text to each closure making every cork unique. There is no ink on the cork surface or drying time necessary.
The most complex images will turn out clean and perfectly detailed giving you the flexibility to add virtually any logo or artwork to cork. Additionally, the lighter shading areas of some images can now be reproduced without compromising the darker lines, keeping the visual effect of your artwork true to its original form. Dates, serial numbers and other codes are also available should you wish to personalize each cork for traceability or authenticity purposes. The best part, the laser printing process is completely safe for your wine and the environment!
For more information, please call us at (707)258-3930 or send an email to email@example.com to see samples of laser branded corks with your logo.
Take a look behind the scenes of the rigorous quality control every cork goes through to insure we supply the best possible. Gain a better understand of what separates Portocork from the competition by spending these few minutes with us.
We are excited to be showing at the NCWE again this year so please, stop by and say hi to our team! We will be in booth #242.
For more information about the North Coast Wine Expo click here: http://www.wineindustryexpo.com/
Q: Why use cork as a wine closure?
A: Not only is cork the traditional and most popular choice for the world's finest wineries, cork is unique and a long-proven wine closure. No other stopper combines the inert nature, impermeability to liquids, flexibility, sealing ability and resilience of cork. A natural product, cork is also environmentally-friendly, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. Premium cork manufacturers such as Portocork combine the natural qualities of cork with the latest technology to produce the ultimate wine stopper.
Q: Are all corks the same?
A: No. Wine corks are graded in up to seven levels of quality dependent upon the grade of the raw cork used as well as the production and quality-control process of the manufacturer. Corks also vary in shape and size as they are created for many different bottle types and products such as fortified, sparkling and still wines.
Q: What are cork manufacturers doing to improve the quality of their product?
A: Portocork's parent company the Amorim Group shares the mission of the entire cork industry to keep standards high. To fulfill their commitment to quality, Amorim invests more than $6 million annually in natural cork research and development with the goal of eliminating 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) from its wine corks.
Q: What guarantee does the winemaker have that the wine will reach the consumer in peak condition?
A: Industry standards are defined in the European Cork Federation's Code of Good Manufacturing Practice. The Portuguese Cork Industry Association has adopted a program, Cork 2000, to help individual producers comply with the standards. An independent auditor will assess producers for accreditation under the scheme. Winemakers buying from an accredited producer can be confident in the quality of the cork they purchase. Portocork's high standards set the benchmark for the code.
Q: As a winemaker, does it matter which manufacturer or supplier I buy my wine corks from?
A: Yes. As in all manufacturing sectors, each cork producer uses its own methods. At Portocork only tried and tested procedures are employed and only the most modern equipment and technology are used in processing the cork. Systematic and detailed laboratory tests are conducted throughout production. All the products used in Portocork's manufacturing process meet the most demanding international standards for quality, safety and contact with human food, including those of the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Q: If I buy good-quality corks from a reputable supplier, will that ensure the corks will always perform as required?
A: Portocork's manufacturing procedures ensure the quality of its product on dispatch to the winemaker. However, after receiving the corks, winemakers need to handle them carefully to ensure they remain in peak condition. Care also needs to be taken in the transporting of corks to avoid contamination and to maintain the correct humidity. Portocork provides guidelines on ordering, storing and handling of corks.
Q: What is the incidence of cork taint?
A: "Cork taint" is a misnomercork itself does not affect wine, but cork may become contaminated with TCA, a contamination affecting many food and beverage products worldwide that can migrate into wine and cause the taint. There is no definitive research that accurately determines the incidence of cork-related taint, although oenological studies suggest that 2-5% of wines are affected by some sort of taint, of which cork taint is only one factor. Random sensory testing of Portocork corks in 2005 revealed that from a sample of 24,000 corks, fewer than half a percentage point (0.48%) were defective. Portocork's goal is to reduce this number to zero.
Q: Can wine be affected by TCA only through the cork?
A: No. TCA is often referred to as "cork taint" which wrongly suggests that cork is the sole cause of TCA. However, TCA can be found in bottled water, wine bottled with screw caps, beer, spirits, soft drink, packaged food products and even raisins. TCA in wine may be due to contaminated oak barrels or corks, contaminated winery machinery or bottling equipment, airborne molds in the winery environment or molds in transport containers or even the home cellar.
Q: Is all wine spoilage caused by TCA?
A: No. There are no definitive figures on TCA contamination. TCA is only one type of wine spoilage. Some types of wine spoilage are wrongly identified as cork taint caused by TCA.
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Q: Is it true that cork taint is caused by the widespread use of pesticides in the 1950s and 1960s?
A: Some researchers believe the historical use of pesticides containing compounds such as pentachlorophenol may be contributing to the TCA problem. However, these chemicals have not been used for maintenance of the cork forests for many years. Amorim has 40-year-old purchasing records that help identify the best quality cork sources and Portocork's manufacturing process is designed to thoroughly clean cork of all contaminants.
Q: How do champagne corks differ from natural corks?
A: Champagne corks are made from a single moulding of high-quality natural granulated cork, giving it uniform physical and mechanical characteristics. At one end these corks have two or three discs of fine natural cork. Natural corks are punched whole from the finest cork bark.
Q: What is a Twin Top® cork?
A: Twin Top® corks are known as technical corks to distinguish them from natural straight corks, which are punched in one piece from the bark. Technical corks are assembled from granulated cork. The Twin Top® cork has discs of fine natural cork at either end of the cork and a granulated cork body made from high-grade natural cork left over after cork punching.
Q: Is there a world shortage of cork?
A: There is enough cork in the cork forests of Portugal to last more than 100 years. The introduction of new products such as Twin Top® corks for commercial wines allows even better utilization of existing cork resources. Ongoing reforestation is increasing the cork forests by 4 percent every year.
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Q: Are the cork trees cut down to obtain the material to produce wine corks?
A: No. To harvest the cork, the outer bark is stripped from the tree once every nine years and then the tree regenerates the bark. The cork industry is environmentally friendly and truly sustainable. Cork trees are only removed when decrepit with age or to reduce overcrowding.
Q: What is a colmated cork?
A: Colmated corks are made from lower-grade natural cork with larger lenticels or structural imperfections. After punching, the corks are coated with a mixture of fine cork particles and natural latex to seal the surface of the cork and improve its performance as a wine stopper.