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400 Vintage Park Drive
NC, 27597
United States
(919) 460-2200
Customer Success Team

As the most comprehensive provider of closure solutions worldwide, Vinventions’ portfolio includes seven product and services brands designed to support the diverse requirements of still and sparkling wine producers across five continents. Vinventions strives to provide closure solutions that maximize performance, design, and sustainability, thanks to its uniquely innovative brands that span every major closure category including Nomacorc PlantCorcs™, Ohlinger natural corks, Vintop and Alplast screwcaps, and Syntek synthetic corks.


The performance of Vinventions product brands are further enhanced by Wine Quality Solutions which include enological devices, equipment and services that improve the quality and consistency of wine through real-time quality control. Vinventions' Wine Marketing Solutions bring a scientific approach to the art of wine marketing with services including neuromarketing, brand promotion programs, packaging design support and consumer research.

Nomacorc Green Line by Vinventions

What makes Nomacorc PlantCorc wine closures a superior choice can be summed up in one word: consistency. Our patented co-extrusion manufacturing process creates alternative wine closures with a foamed core and an outer skin. These two elements work hand in hand to create predictable and consistent wine preservation performance.

The core of Nomacorc wine closures is breathable and allows optimum control of oxygen transfer through the closure. The outer flexible skin provides a precise and consistent seal, protecting the wine while providing the traditional appearance and opening ceremony associated with natural corks.

Advantages of Nomacorc Green Line wine closures

  • No cork taint or off-flavors associated with natural and technical corks
  • More consistent oxygen transfer rates than other closure types including natural cork, technical cork and screw caps
  • More consistent bottling line behavior than other closure types including natural cork, technical cork and screw caps
  • Natural cork look without breakage and crumbling
  • Smooth, easy extraction with traditional cork screws
  • Lower carbon footprint compared to that of to natural and technical cork with much lower water usage during manufacturing
  • Sustainably produced from materials derived from sugarcane and 100% recyclable

Best-in-class closure for luxury wines with extensive aging times up to 25 years
Nomacorc Select Green
Nomacorc Select Green
The world’s 1st zero carbon footprint closure for premium wines with aging requirements up to 15 years
The world\'s most sustainable micro-agglomerated natural cork
Vintop Premium
Vintop Premium
Premium screwcaps
Nomacorc Classic Green
Nomacorc Classic Green
The premium generation successor to our industry leading “Classic+” product for popular and premium wines
NomaSense O2 P300 & P6000
NomaSense O2 P300 & P6000
The new reference TPO meters for the wine industry
NomaSense CO2 P2000
NomaSense CO2 P2000
Fast and reliable CO2 measurement
NomaSense Color P100
NomaSense Color P100
Objective measure of wine color
NomaSense PolyScan P200
NomaSense PolyScan P200
Real-time polyphenols measurement in must and wines
Nomacorc: How It's Made
Nomacorc: How It's Made
Discover how the Nomacorc Green Line closures are made!
Vinventions: Sustainability
Vinventions: Sustainability
Sustainability at Vinventions considers the triple bottom line: Planet, People, Prosperity. By investing in Sustainability, our goal is to not only improve our environmental impact, but also to support people, both associates and our communities, in their development.
Vinventions - Our Purpose
Vinventions - Our Purpose
At Vinventions, we strongly believe that there is not one best universal closure for every bottle of wine—each bottle is unique and the “right” closure is often dependent on different elements for that wine, like its style, the winemaker’s intentions, and the market’s preferences.
NomaSense PolyScan P200
NomaSense PolyScan P200
The NomaSense PolyScan P200 is the first analyzer to measure in real-time the must or wine polyphenol content at different winemaking stages. The method is simple, direct and rapid.
NomaSense Oxygen Analyzer
NomaSense Oxygen Analyzer
Nomacorc offers two great solutions to rapidly measure the total oxygen contents in wine. Each solution provides a direct and facile reading for the dissolved oxygen concentration in the wine and the amount of gaseous oxygen in e.g. the headspace of a bottle.

News Archive

2019 Wine Marketing Awards
19 November, 2019

November 12, 2019 (SONOMA, CA) – Last year, Vinventions, the leading provider of complete wine closure solutions worldwide, launched the Wine Marketing Awards & “The Vinnies” to recognize excellence in wine marketing. Following the success of the 2018 event, the organization is proud to announce its continued partnership with Sonoma State University and Wine Business Monthly, along with Cork Supply USA, for the return of the Wine Marketing Awards in 2019.

Awards will be given this year in four categories:

Print /Creative Advertising

Digital Marketing

Experiential Marketing

Integrated Marketing 

Any work released during the 2019 calendar year is eligible.  All entry submissions must be received by November 26, 2019 on the Vinnies website:

Past winners of the Vinnie Awards include:

Caymus VineyardsPrint Advertising, a picturesque print ad of Napa Valley taken after the 2017 October wildfires with a consumer invitation to return.

Terravant Wine Company - Experiential Marketing, Bottlest Winery, Bar & Bistro—and new customer-designed wine and food experience in Santa Barbara, California.

Columbia CrestDigital Marketing, a multi-faceted digital and social campaign called Juan & Juan on Wine.

A to Z WinesIntegrated Marketing, Exceptionally Food Friendly 360 campaign including print, social, search, web, video, display and PR.

For more information on this year’s Vinnie Awards visit

About The Vinnies:

The Vinnie Awards were created in 2018 to honor excellence in wine marketing at the inaugural 2018 Wine Marketing Awards hosted by Vinventions in partnership with Wine Business Monthly and Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute. The goal of the Wine Marketing Awards is to summon a body of marketing innovation that can serve as inspiration for its peers and to recognize the best marketing minds in the wine industry.

About Vinventions:

Vinventions is the leading provider of complete wine closure solutions, offering best-in-class sustainable, high-performance closures and enological tools and services. Its portfolio includes seven product and services brands uniquely designed to maximize performance, design and sustainability and support the diverse requirements of still and sparkling wine producers worldwide. Vinventions’ innovative brands span every major closure category including Nomacorc PlantCorcs™, Ohlinger natural corks and SÜBR micro-agglomerate corks, premium Vintop and Alplast screwcaps, and Syntek synthetic corks. The performance of Vinventions product brands are further enhanced by the Wine Quality Solutions oxygen management consulting and phenolic measuring devices and Wine Marketing Solutions marketing services and consumer insights. Find out more at

Press Contact:                   Melanie Cressman


Marketing Contact:         Cassandra King


Wine Quality Solutions Launches the NomaSense™ Oxymeter
23 October, 2019

The NomaSense™ Oxymeter is the latest addition to the Wine Quality Solutions (WQS) line of portable analyzers. Very easy to use and affordable for every production unit size, this device accurately measures dissolved oxygen in wine at all winemaking steps.

October 2019 — Oxygen control is an essential practice for wineries serious about preserving wine quality and optimizing production performances. “We have designed the NomaSense Oxymeter to complete our oxygen analyzers product line. This new device is the answer to the request from our customers to combine the quality, accuracy and robustness of the well-recognized NomaSense O2 P300 with a better price and connectivity to routinely control dissolved oxygen in wines,” explains Stéphane Vidal, Vice President of Enology & WQS at Vinventions.

Based on luminescence technology, the probe has a built-in barometer and temperature sensor, allowing optimal measurement accuracy for concentrations ranging from 0 to 22 mg/L with an accuracy of ± 0.04 mg/L and a detection limit of 15 μg/L.

With the NomaSense Oxymeter, wine producers can control dissolved oxygen in real-time accurately and quickly. “Some delicate cellar operations, such as filtration and cold stabilization, as well as all wine transfers, can be monitored. This control can help producers make the appropriate decisions depending on the winemaking stage and the measured oxygen pick-up, but also to improve practices,” says Romain Thomas, Brand Manager of WQS at Vinventions.

The analyzer is connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone application from which the user runs the analyzer and manages the data. “The 12mm diameter probe, connected to a 5m cord, allows the user to immerse the sensor in any type of container, including bottles, providing a broad flexibility of use,” adds Jean- Baptiste Diéval, Application Development Manager at Vinventions.

For any further information on NomaSense Oxymeter, please contact the Vinventions Wine Quality Solutions team at or visit

Vinventions & Nomacorc Founder Marc Noël Nominated for Wine Enthusiast Wine Star 2019 Innovator of the Year.
10 September, 2019

The founder of Nomacorc, Marc Noël has been an innovator and disrupter in the wine industry since 1999. That’s when he and his Belgian father, Gert Noël, launched a reliable synthetic wine closure that was free of cork taint and inexpensive. Now part of the company Vinventions, Nomacorc’s latest product range, Green Line, has taken wine closures to a new level of environmental sensitivity, as they’re made from sustainable, renewable sugarcane-based raw materials. Noël serves as founder and chairman of Vinventions, one of the world’s leading suppliers of wine closures. In 2018, Vinventions protected 2.8 billion bottles of wine with its closures. 

Click here for more information on the Wine Star Awards by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Gain Expertise in Gas Management at Bottling
07 May, 2019

Bottling is the winemaking stage that requires the most attention and expertise in oxygen and carbon dioxide management. Uncontrolled oxygen pick-up at this stage is irreversible and can have serious consequences on the wine quality.

Join our webinar Thu, May 16, 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT to learn:

  • Why bottling is a critical step for wine shelf-life
  • How to efficiently diminish head space oxygen for screw-capped bottles
  • How to better manage gas during bottling

Register Here

11 March, 2019

March 11, 2019 (ANTWERP, Belgium) — Vinventions, the leading provider of complete wine closure solutions worldwide, is pleased to announce they will be hosting a special tasting session in partnership with Fontanafredda for the esteemed attendees of this year’s ASI Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World, held from 10th to 15th March in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Masterclass will offer an opportunity for the attending Sommeliers to “Taste the Difference” that closures can make on a wine’s development using different and precise oxygen transmission rates (OTR). This unique tasting experience features the same wine, bottle on the same day and under the same conditions, with one seemingly minor difference: the closure. The intention is not to prove that one closure is superior to another, necessarily, but to underline the importance and impact of the closure itself with different permeabilities.

“The amount of oxygen released to the wine post-bottling is crucial and this is one of the cornerstones of our Nomacorc Green Line closures. We strongly believe in the importance of oxygen management and we think the best proof is in the glass,” says Edina Kiss, Nomacorc Brand Manager at Vinventions. “The consistent and controlled oxygen ingress ensures the desired wine preservation and keeps wine evolution under control. We are looking forward to our ‘Taste the Difference’ Masterclass with the Sommeliers of the World and are excited to share this unique tasting experience with them.”

“With Belgium as the hosting country, our prestigious international championship has come full circle: the very first Sommelier World Championship also took place here. We are very honored to have Vinventions on our side, as a Gold partner, not only because it is a Belgian company but also because of its fame worldwide in the closure industry. It’s a perfect match!” says William Wouters, Vice President ASI Europe.

The Vinventions & Fontanafredda Masterclass is open for ASI Sommelier candidates attending the program and will take place on Friday, 15th March at 10:15 AM at the Antwerp Diamond Kring.

Wine Quality Solutions Webinar Series
22 February, 2019

Join our Wine Quality Solutions webinar series in 2019

Wine Quality Solutions, the Vinventions enological brand, launches a series of 4 webinars in 2019 dedicated to oxygen and polyphenols management in wine.

Gain access to more than a decade of industry research in oxygen and polyphenol management by joining our webinars:

Webinar #1 I Oxygen management: How to extend wine shelf-life

Thursday, March 7th at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

Webinar #2 I Oxygen management to optimize sulfite additions

Thursday, April 4th at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

Webinar #3 I Gain expertise in gas management at bottling

Thursday, May 16th at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

Webinar #4 I Monitoring polyphenols to improve wine quality

Thursday, June 20th at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

Please visit our WQS website for more information or register directly by clicking on the link above and filling in the form for each upcoming webinar that you plan to attend.

Vinventions Revolutionizes Recycling: Giving Corks “Endless Circles of Life” as New Closures
28 January, 2019

Thimister, Belgium and Zebulon, NC, USA (January 28, 2019) – What if we created “endless circles of life” for wine closures? This question has challenged and excited the innovators at Vinventions, the global leader in sustainable high-performance wine closures, for many years. Now, Vinventions is taking a major step towards realizing this vision. 

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dr. Heino Freudenberg, President & CEO of Vinventions, announced that the company will pilot the world’s first truly circular wine closure recycling initiative together with industry partner SABIC as well as Unilever and others starting in 2019. 

“Today, ‘recycling’ simply means the collection and reprocessing of used products into other, usually less-demanding products. Currently, wine closures from Vinventions are partially recollected and transformed into recycled products like sparkling coolers, swimming pool liners and the like,” says Michael Blaise, VP Sustainability at Vinventions. “While this adds valuable additional lifecycles after our wine closures’ first product life, it is achieved by downcycling the materials.”

“With our exciting new approach, Vinventions will turn recycled wine closures back into entirely new wine closures,” adds Malcolm Thompson, Chief Innovation Officer at Vinventions. “In principle, this new level of circular economy allows the opportunity for an endless repeat of the recycling circle… in other words: Endless circles of life for our wine closures.” 

“This technical breakthrough now also requires us to step up our efforts in efficient waste collection. We will create these endless circles of life for as many wine closures as possible,” concludes Dr. Freudenberg. “Much work lies ahead of us, but these are impressive first steps towards a truly circular economy in wine closures.” 

For more information on Vinventions’ Vision and Sustainability Mission, please visit:

About Vinventions:

Vinventions’ vision is to be the most innovative, most sustainable and most trusted global supplier of Complete Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry. Protecting already every 7th bottle of wine worldwide with its closure solutions, Vinventions is the second largest wine closure supplier globally with strong organic sales growth also in 2018. Vinventions employs over 550 associates globally and operates seven production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa and China. The leadership values of Vinventions are based on customer proximity, innovation, local entrepreneurship, open teamwork, sustainability and long-term responsibility. Find out more at

Vinventions Fully Embraces the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
11 December, 2018

Leading wine closure solutions provider commits to Circular Economy

ZEBULON, NC, USA, and THIMISTER, Belgium (December 11, 2018) — Consistent with their intentions of significantly advancing their efforts relating to sustainability, Vinventions, the global leader in Complete Wine Closure Solutions, announces plans to accelerate environmental improvement initiatives and drive fundamental change in the manner by which their products are produced and used by the wine industry at large.

Vinventions’ sustainability strategy is fully aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”) and, in particular, SDG 12 which is designed to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”. 

In support of this important UN SDG, Vinventions’ sustainability strategy encompasses the following aspects:

  • Sustainable use of natural resources: Progressing towards their stated goal of achieving carbon neutrality across the entire corporation, Vinventions advances their initiatives to minimize carbon footprint and natural resource utilization (including water and non-renewable raw-materials) associated with their products and processes. Nomacorc Green Line, formulated from plant-based polymers derived from sugarcane, a 100% renewable raw material source, is but one example. Sugarcane absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere resulting in products having low to no carbon footprint, thereby helping to combat climate change. From the launch of the Nomacorc Green Line, Vinventions reduced CO2 emissions by more than 12,000 tons (1). Other new products from Vinventions based on sustainable, renewable and biodegradable feedstock are planned for near-term market introduction.
  • Reduction of food losses: Vinventions continues to contribute to the reduction of food losses, namely wine-related waste, through their offering of consistent, TCA-taint-free wine closure products, well supported by specialized oenological equipment and services designed to improve overall wine quality. Thereby, more than 300 million bottles were saved from spoilage (2) by Vinventions products in the last 15 years.
  • Responsible management of chemicals: Vinventions is reducing the use of chemicals with, as an example, the introduction of SÜBR, the world’s most sustainable micro-agglomerated closure, which utilizes natural cork in combination with a binder derived from natural sources, providing a safe, clean, recyclable and biodegradable alternative to polyurethane glue. Vinventions will stepwise replace polyurethane glue in all its products.
  • Reduction of waste: Vinventions strives to further reduce waste, both internal and external, through new and ambitious collection and recycling initiatives consistent with Circular Economy principles. Vinventions recognizes that, in addition to their efficient lean production processes and the current recycling programs, more can be done to minimize waste. Vinventions is appreciative of the European Commission and its initiatives around Circular Economy and marine litter that will create the right ecosystem of organizations to fuel innovation. Together with their stakeholders, Vinventions is preparing plans for launching major initiatives which will solidify its wine industry leading position in the Circular Economy. As a new initiative, Vinventions is proud to announce its recycling partnership with Nicolas in France. Starting Q1 2019, the 500 Nicolas stores will collect the Nomacorc PlantCorcs™ as well as synthetic closures. All the benefits of this collection program will be used to support the association “Un Bouchon, Une Espérance,” which helps people with disabilities. Vinventions will then recycle the newly-collected closures to produce wine-related products with the ambition to produce a new closure made from recycling to implement a perfect circular economy model. “Polymer-based products are among the most sustainable solutions if they are sourced from renewable raw materials and if they are reused or recycled,” says Michael Blaise, VP Sustainability at Vinventions.

“Vinventions considers the triple bottom line: Planet, People, Profit,” Blaise adds. “By investing in Sustainability, our goal is to not only to improve its environmental impact, but also to support people, including our customers, our associates and our communities, in their development and to generate long-term prosperity. For Vinventions, sustainability is a long-term journey we take to continuously improve and to create simultaneously positive impacts for all the stakeholders.”

For more information on Vinventions and its Sustainability Mission, visit Vinventions’ website.


Vinventions was created in 2015 by family entrepreneur Marc Noël together with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg and additional partners. Vinventions’ vision is to be the most innovative and most trusted global supplier of Complete Wine Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry. Since January 2015, Vinventions has acquired Nomacorc, Ohlinger Group and Syntek Bouchage and has created strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Cork Supply (natural cork) and Alplast S.r.l. (screwcaps). This led to the creation of Vinventions’ Complete Wine Closure Solutions, which encompass Nomacorc (PlantCorcs), Syntek (synthetics), Ohlinger (natural corks), Vintop and Alplast (screwcaps), as well as Wine Quality Solutions (oenological tools and services) and Wine Marketing Solutions (marketing services and wine consumer insights). Today, Vinventions employs over 550 associates globally and operates seven production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa and China. Including Alplast wine closures, Vinventions protects every seventh bottle of wine worldwide with its closure solutions, making it the second largest wine closure supplier worldwide with strong organic sales growth in 2017. The leadership values of Vinventions are based on customer proximity, innovation, local entrepreneurship, open teamwork, sustainability and long-term responsibility. Find out more at

Born Digital Wine Awards and Vinventions Announce New Partnership for 2018 Awards
08 October, 2018

— BDWA and Vinventions join forces to create innovative categories and awards to reward content creators pushing the frontiers of communication —

Porto, PORTUGAL / Thimister, BELGIUM (October 4, 2018) — Since 2011, the Born Digital Wine Awards have been showcasing quality content produced online around the world in a variety of different languages, recognizing an international collection of wine-focused journalism and media production and creating an equal playing board for wine communications. Now in its seventh year, the Born Digital Wine Awards is partnering with Vinventions, the most comprehensive provider of wine closure solutions which protects one in every seven bottles worldwide. Together, the partners are working to advance the Awards, elevating the level of innovation and originality through the creation of new prizes and categories that celebrate the importance of wine in a broader context.

The Awards will begin accepting entries on December 1, 2018, through the end of the year and welcome nominees from around the globe. The submissions can be entered in one of five categories:

  1. Best Editorial Content: An opportunity for writers to show what they have to say about any angle of the wine business with high-quality, well-written text.
  1. Best Tourism Content with a Wine Focus: A chance for writers and video producers to show how wine fits into an area’s larger context by exploring the history or cultural aspects of a specific winemaking region. Wine and Food Content: A new category highlighting content that places wine with its rightful partner through text or video.
  1. Best Interview: A new category where storytellers can share honest, interesting and entertaining interviews dedicated to the art of letting someone else tell their story through text, video or podcasts, a new medium for this edition of the BDWA awards.
  1. Best Visual Storytelling: The most complex category, and a development to the previous installments of this category, entrants for this prize can send up to five (5) related images (including social media, photo and infographics) that tell the story of any aspect of the wine world. In addition, as a reflection of the importance of the many environmental issues in today’s world and their continuing impact on the wine industry, the special Sustainability Award will be granted to the content, across all categories and mediums, which focuses on the work that individuals or businesses are doing to create a more sustainable industry.

As a final award, content creators, businesses and personalities challenging the status quo in the wine business may also apply to the Innovation Award. Vinventions, an industry pioneer in closure technology and wine quality innovation, will grant the Innovation Award to those who look to disrupt the norm, foster positive change and help propel the wine industry forward.

The Awards will be open for the month of December and eligible materials produced and published online between June 1, 2017 and November 30, 2018 will be accepted in six languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and German. Category prizes and supplemental awards will be judged by an esteemed panel of industry experts, influencers and communicators, including last year’s winners, with shortlists announced in March – April 2019. Winners will receive financial prizes as well as special gifts from the BDWA partners.

For more information about the awards, please visit: If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact:


The Born Digital Wine Awards (BDWA) were created in 2011 as a competition to support and encourage outstanding online content created about wine. The Awards are dedicated to rewarding high-quality online material including articles, photos and videos. It is supported by a complex and flexible judging system which ensures complete objectivity and a panel of judges which includes a number of high-profile journalists and experts in their field. In 2018, Vinventions became the primary sponsor to the Awards, recognizing the importance of rewarding content creators who contribute to the forward progress of the wine industry by pushing the frontiers of communications.


Vinventions was created in 2015 by family entrepreneur Marc Noël together with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg and additional partners. Vinventions’ vision is to be the most innovative and most trusted global supplier of Complete Wine Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry. Since January 2015, Vinventions has acquired Nomacorc, Ohlinger Group and Syntek Bouchage and has created strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Cork Supply (natural cork) and Alplast S.r.l. (screwcaps). This led to the creation of Vinventions’

Complete Wine Closure Solutions, which encompass Nomacorc (PlantCorcs), Syntek (synthetics), Ohlinger (natural corks), Vintop and Alplast (screwcaps), as well as Wine Quality Solutions (oenological tools and services) and Wine Marketing Solutions (marketing services and wine consumer insights). Today, Vinventions employs over 550 associates globally and operates seven production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa and China. Including Alplast wine closures, Vinventions protects every seventh bottle of wine worldwide with its closure solutions, making it the second largest wine closure supplier worldwide with strong organic sales growth in 2017. The leadership values of Vinventions are based on customer proximity, innovation, local entrepreneurship, open teamwork, sustainability and long-term responsibility. Find out more at

Vinventions and TWE Donate $100,000 to Napa and Sonoma Community
26 July, 2018

After watching the devastating fall 2017 fires overtake the vineyards and homes of close friends, Vinventions, the global leader in complete closure solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry, and Triangle Wine Experience, the largest fundraiser for Frankie Lemmon School & Development Center, were committed to doing whatever they could to help. 

Earlier this month, Vinventions and Triangle Wine Experience, together with wine lovers across North Carolina, donated $100,000 to the community foundation of Napa Valley and Sonoma County in support of California wildfire relief.
In June, Vinventions and Triangle Wine Experience hosted the Raleigh-based ‘Cue for Cali event, featuring award-winning chefs, including barbecue from James Beard winner and “Best Chef of the Southeast” Rodney Scott, James Beard nominee Sam Jones of Skylight Inn, as well as California wines provided by Reynolds Family Winery, Crocker & Starr and Davis Family Vineyards.
The donations were presented to the Napa Valley Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sonoma County by Vinventions and Triangle Wine Experience.  

Vinventions and Alplast Announce Wine Screwcap Acquisition
27 March, 2018

—Alplast 30 x 60 Wine Screwcaps Become Member of Vinventions Group—


ZEBULON, NC, USA / THIMISTER, BELGIUM / TIGLIOLE, ITALY (March 26, 2018) — In a joint statement today, Vinventions, the leading global provider of Complete Wine Closure Solutions, and Alplast S.r.l., a leading producer of high-quality closures for wine and general food, have announced that the 30 x 60 wine screwcap business of Alplast will join the renowned Vinventions Group starting May 1, 2018.


With this strategic partnership, Vinventions adds more than 200 million 30 x 60 wine screwcaps to its growing Complete Closure Solutions portfolio, effectively positioning it as the third largest supplier of wine screwcaps worldwide. Alplast S.r.l. will continue to produce the 30 x 60 wine screwcaps exclusively on behalf of Vinventions at its plant in Tigliole, Italy, while Vinventions will take over the sales, marketing and order fulfillment for 30 x 60 wine screwcaps, offering to customers around the world a much closer market proximity, enhanced customer service and additional wine closure solution opportunities.


“We are very proud to welcome the Goria Family and their well-known Alplast wine screwcaps to our Vinventions Group!” says Dr. Heino Freudenberg, President and CEO at Vinventions. “As we further accelerate our growth in wine screwcaps and inner-seal wine closures, this is the perfect moment for us to expand our wine screwcap collection and to add ‘Alplast’ to our well-established House of Brands. This makes our Complete Wine Closure Solutions even more attractive for our customers around the world!”


“We cordially welcome the renowned Vinventions sales teams to lead the sales, marketing and order fulfillment of our 30 x 60 wine screwcaps. Our strategic alliance with Vinventions enables Alplast S.r.l. to focus even more on the high-quality, cost-effective production of wine screwcaps. We will accelerate our investments into the innovation and production capacity for 30 x 60 wine screwcaps in Italy and delight our customers with even better screwcap closures, which are produced by Alplast and marketed globally by Vinventions,” says Francesco Goria, President at Alplast S.r.l.


The “Alplast” name will become an additional brand for screwcaps in Vinventions’ House of Brands and will stand for high-quality, cost-efficient, litho-printed and offset-printed screwcaps, differentiated from Vinventions’ existing screwcap brand, Vintop. Vinventions’ current Vintop brand customers will also benefit from the additional choice in screwcap options; Vintop will continue to represent the company’s line of high-end, innovative and beautifully decorated long-skirted screwcaps.





Vinventions was created in 2015 by family entrepreneur Marc Noël together with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg and additional partners. Vinventions’ vision is to be the most innovative and most trusted global supplier of Complete Wine Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry. Since January 2015, Vinventions has acquired Nomacorc, Ohlinger Group and Syntek Bouchage and has created strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Cork Supply (natural cork) and Alplast S.r.l. (screwcaps). This led to the creation of Vinventions’ Complete Wine Closure Solutions, which encompass Nomacorc (PlantCorcs), Syntek (synthetics), Ohlinger (natural corks), Vintop and Alplast (screwcaps), as well as Wine Quality Solutions (oenological tools and services) and Wine Marketing Solutions (marketing services and wine consumer insights). Today, Vinventions employs over 550 associates globally and operates seven production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa and China. Including Alplast wine closures, Vinventions protects every seventh bottle of wine worldwide with its closure solutions, making it the second largest wine closure supplier worldwide with strong organic sales growth in 2017. The leadership values of Vinventions are based on customer proximity, innovation, local entrepreneurship, open teamwork, sustainability and long-term responsibility. Find out more at



Alplast S.r.l. was founded 1953 by Renato Goria and Maddalena Rigamonti in Turin, Italy, with the production of aluminium caps for the spirits industry. Alplast is 100% family-owned and now led in the second generation by Francesco Goria and Erminio Goria who joined the company between the late 1970s and early 1980s and who are today Chairman and CEO of Alplast S.r.l., respectively. The third generation also came on board starting with Michela and Francesca Goria in 2002 and, at a later stage, supported by Lorenzo and Eugenia Goria. Alplast produces a wide range of aluminium caps for the spirits and wine industry as well as for olive oils, vinegar, mineral water and soft drinks. Alplast also produces plastic caps for food closures (coffee, spices, etc.), soft drinks, edible oils, etc., as well as all the pourers and inserts used for aluminium closures. Alplast employs over 220 associates and operates three production plants in Italy. While production is exclusively based in Italy, Alplast exports in over 80 countries worldwide and is today a leading company in the production of closures combining the flexibility of a family-owned company with the focus on innovation, quality and cost-effectivness of a well-structured organization.

Vinventions and Enartis USA Partner to Offer Wine Quality Solutions to Winemakers across North America
22 January, 2018

Napa, CA (Jan. 22, 2018) — Vinventions, the leading global supplier of complete wine closure solutions and Wine Quality Solutions, and Enartis USA, a world leader in premium enological tools and analytics, have today announced a new partnership to offer best-in-class winemaking services across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Following its tradition in providing the wine industry with the most innovative technologies, Enartis USA sought to expand its offerings through the industry’s foremost enological and research group by Vinventions, Wine Quality Solutions (“WQS”). By combining efforts and resources, Enartis and Wine Quality Solutions will deploy the WQS devices and winemaking services as reference enological tools across these regions.

Through this partnership, Enartis USA will distribute Vinventions’ Wine Quality Solutions enological tools and services, including:

• NomaSense O2, for oxygen management in every single stage of winemaking, including bottling line performance and TPO measurement.

• NomaSense PolyScan P200, the first analyzer to measure in real-time must or wine polyphenol content at different winemaking stages.

• NomaSense Color P100, a portable colorimeter based on the CIELab system that can monitor color extraction and stability without any sample preparation.

“We are very excited about the launch of this new partnership with Enartis” says Pedro Pereira, Senior Wine Quality Solutions & Sustainability Manager at Vinventions. “Enartis’ technical expertise as the leading supplier of enological products, coupled with Vinventions’ real- time quality control tools, will enable an expanded presence of Wine Quality Solutions in California and across North America. By combining resources with Enartis, we will be able to really address the challenges the industry faces when seeking ways to optimize winemaking, bottling and wine preservation.”

“This partnership with Vinventions helps us complete our portfolio of testing equipment and will allow winemakers across North America to better monitor and optimize the winemaking processes, from

grape to bottle. WQS equipment provide meaningful and actionable data, while being easy to use,” says José Santos, President and CEO of Enartis USA.

Effective since Jan. 1, 2018, the Wine Quality Solutions enological tools and services by Vinventions are offered by Enartis USA through this distribution partnership.

For more information on Wine Quality Solutions by Vinventions, visit Booth 1110 at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, and Enartis USA at Booth 1211.

Vinventions Unveils New Logos and the Consolidation of Legal Entity Names
02 October, 2017

Vinventions, the global leader in Complete Wine Closure Solutions, unveiled its new logo landscape, giving both the Group as well as its successful House of 7 Brands a new and distinct look. Further, Vinventions announced today that all its production plants and commercial offices around the world, previously known by the names of its subbrands “Nomacorc,” “Ohlinger,” or “Juvenal” (South Africa) are renamed to “Vinventions” as of October 1, 2017.

“We have successfully established Vinventions as the most innovative and most trusted global supplier of Complete Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry,” says Dr. Heino Freudenberg, President and CEO of Vinventions. “Therefore, we now introduce to our customers and partners our set of new, beautiful and easy-to-distinguish logos—both for the Vinventions Group and for our House of 7 Brands. The renaming of our legal entities to ‘Vinventions’ then completes this transformation. This House of 7 Brands, which encompasses 5 product groups and 2 service offerings, gives unrivaled peace of mind to wineries and retailers worldwide when it comes to the small, yet success-critical step of safely closing their wine bottles.”

As part of this transition, Vinventions has unveiled its new Group logo. “Making wine is a wonderful, yet demanding journey. At the end of this journey, there is a significant moment: The Moment of Truth, when we swirl the wine in our glass and have our five senses fully embrace the wine. This Moment of Truth is what Vinventions is set out to protect and enhance for our customers—using our Complete Wine Closure Solutions to make every bottle better,” says Malcolm Thompson, Chief Innovation Officer and President, Americas, Vinventions. “We have chosen our new Vinventions logo to celebrate this Moment of Truth—as a symbol of our passion and our dedication to our customers and the success of their wines.”

All products and services of Vinventions’ Complete Wine Closure Solutions will also be offered under newly designed brand logos, which include Nomacorc in green for PlantCorc™, Syntek in red for traditional synthetics, Ohlinger in cork-color for natural cork, Vintop in blue for screwcaps, Vinolok/Vinoseal in grey for glass closures (unchanged), as well as Wine Quality Solutions for oenological tools and services and Wine Marketing Solutions for marketing services, both these brands in Vinventions-red, symbolizing their use across all closure products.

This new Vinventions corporate identity will be evident in all communication with immediate effect. It will not affect or delay any current or future orders of branded products for Vinventions’ customers and partners.


Vinventions was created in 2015 by family entrepreneur Marc Noël together with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg and further partners. Vinventions’ mission is to be the most innovative and most trusted global supplier of Complete Wine Closure Solutions to the still and sparkling wine industry. Since January 2015, Vinventions has acquired Nomacorc, Ohlinger Group and Syntek Bouchage and has created strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Preciosa (glass crystals) and Cork Supply (natural cork). This led to the creation of Vinventions’ “House of 7 Brands,” and its Complete Wine Closure Solutions, which encompass Nomacorc (PlantCorcs), Syntek (synthetics), Ohlinger (natural corks), Vintop (screwcaps) and Vinolok (glass closures) as well as Wine Quality Solutions (oenological tools and services) and Wine Marketing Solutions (marketing services and wine consumer insights). Today, Vinventions employs over 550 associates globally and operates seven production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa and China. Vinventions protects every eighth wine bottle worldwide with its closure solutions, making it the second largest wine closure supplier worldwide with strong organic sales growth in 2017. The leadership values of Vinventions are based on customer proximity, innovation, local entrepreneurship, open teamwork, sustainability and long-term responsibility. Find out more at

People Matter: Encouraging Social Sustainability in the Wine Business
12 September, 2017

By Amy Bess Cook

You know what “sustainable” means. Or do you?

When you see the word emblazoned on the label of a favorite wine, it conjures all things green: low-carbon footprints, renewable energy, and sleekly-designed planet Earth logos. “Sustainable” is just another way of saying “environmentally friendly.” Right?

Well, that’s one piece of the puzzle. According to standards developed by the United Nations, sustainability is built on three pillars. One is indeed environmental. The second is economic. Most businesspeople prioritize the bottom line, so economic sustainability is usually integrated into winery business plans. Alas, fewer executives pause to consider the social aspect of sustainability.

We are talking, of course, about people.

What is Social Sustainability?

Social sustainability considers the practices and policies that are best for all people connected with the company—from workers to suppliers to community members. A socially sustainable company aims to cultivate diversity, quality of life, equity, and leadership. Examples of social sustainability might include: a company-sponsored education fund, daycare program, team-building retreat, or healthcare initiative.

The global sustainability standards are based on a 1987 United Nations document entitled Our Common Ground (a.k.a. The Brundtland Report). Prior, sustainability had been documented for at least four centuries. Despite its “buzzword” status, the concept is nothing new. Still, efforts to bring environmental awareness into the wine industry have intensified in the past decade. The result is an overwhelming array of sustainability certification programs—all heavily based on environmental standards. [Chart] Social standards often remain overlooked.

How might wineries and vineyards pay greater attention to the social part of sustainability? Which organizations are already making an effort? Could companies be held more accountable for how they manage and relate to people? In some corners of the industry, we find beacons that might just guide the way.

Listen Well & Be Patient: Sonoma County Winegrowers

Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) has won considerable acclaim for their leadership in sustainable winegrowing. SCW has made trailblazing efforts to designate Sonoma County as the nation’s first sustainable winegrowing region by 2019. Executive Director Karissa Kruse has led the charge, very pointedly making social sustainability an integral part of the program planning.

“We made his big commitment to sustainability and were gaining a lot of traction and getting a lot of recognition for it,” says Kruse. “And we stepped back and realized that, with that recognition, came accountability: Are we pushing the envelope and really being leaders in sustainability?”

Kruse realized that most agricultural workers connected with SCW live in Sonoma County and were a permanent part of the local community. With this epiphany, her sense of responsibility grew, and along with her list of questions: “Are folks safe? Are they getting appropriate training for their job? Do they understand their rights? Are we really taking care of our employees and their families?”

The only surefire way to get answers was to take the questions directly to the community—and listen. Over eight months, SCW set up three different feedback sessions to find out what the community concerns were. Sessions were held in Spanish and in English. Vineyard managers, family farmers, grape growers, and wineries were all involved. Participants were paid for their time.

Based on the results, SCW decided to focus social sustainability efforts on two main areas: affordable housing and workforce development. “We wanted to pick one or two things that we thought would provide the most impact and that we could do well,” says Kruse. “If you try to do everything, nothing delivers.”

That was in 2016. Now, SCW is well on its way to enacting a social sustainability plan. In collaboration with local engineers and vineyard owners, they have drawn up blueprints and models for six different housing plans. By spring 2018, SCW expects to add 200 beds to the vineyards of Sonoma County. And a plan for SCW workplace development, including a partnership with the local community college and mentorships with wine professionals, will launch in January 2018.

Patience is key. “We can’t do it all overnight,” Kruse acknowledges, but her resolve is apparent. “I want it to be, like: If you want to work in agriculture, come to Sonoma County! We care about you. We want to take care of you.”

Building Community: Navarro Vineyards

Up north from Sonoma in Mendocino County, Navarro Vineyards has been implementing social sustainability practices for four decades. In the 1960s, Deborah Cahn came to Anderson Valley with her husband Ted Bennett to farmstead. “It was sort of part of the back-to-the-land movement,” says Cahn. “And it was filled with a lot of the idealism of the seventies: I can’t change the whole world but I can change my own little corner of it.”

Now, Cahn maintains a staff of 75 employees, all of whom (including harvest, bottling line, and administrative workers) are full-time and benefited. In an industry that relies largely on seasonal help, the Navarro employment model is an anomaly. “We’ve worked hard to diversify the jobs so that we can use full-time permanent staff,” says Deborah. “The guys who work in the vineyard also work partly doing bottling and sometimes in the shipping department, so that we can keep people hired full time rather than part time.”

This only happens with some skilled choreography. “It requires quite a bit of planning on the part of the supervisors to move people from department.”

The staff enjoys the job security and benefits of this model, says Cahn, but it helps the company, too. The fact that she is not continually replacing and rehiring employees saves money. Furthermore, she says, “I am sure that we have customers who buy wine because they like how we treat our workers. It reflects on how we treat our grapevines and how we treat our wine.”

The lesson? Social sustainability can be good for the bottom line.

Much of Navarro’s business philosophy is influenced by the founding couple’s time in Japan. Prior to launching Navarro with Deborah, Ted Bennett did a great deal of business in Japan and developed a keen admiration for the way his colleagues involved all levels of management in the decision-making. Thus was born an egalitarian spirit that still rules the winery.

“When we blend the wine,” says Deborah, “it’s not just the owners and the winemaker, but the people in the tasting room and cellar who are involved in the blending decisions. It’s not just a winemaker’s wine. There is a democratization of decision-making. A lot of those ideas came from observing Japanese management style in the 70s.”

An active member of the nonprofit Anderson Valley Housing Association, Cahn (like Kruse) is deeply concerned about housing for her employees. “Not a lot of people in the area have their homes where they work,” she laments.

“When you’re living in a small community, your kids are going to the same school as the kids whose parents work on the ranch. These are your neighbors. You want them to have good health care and enough money to send their kids to college and a decent place to live.”

Header photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash.

A Closure Debate: Why UK Buyers Put Wine Before Closure
08 August, 2017

If you want to throw the equivalent of a verbal hand grenade into a conversation amongst wine professionals then, other than natural wine, the issue of what type of closure people like, and why, is arguably one of the most contentious issues around.

In fact, it invites such passion amongst some individuals that, like politics, it can be best to steer clear of the topic in polite company unless you want to risk the occasion blowing up in your face.

When it comes to natural cork it is understandable that it is such an emotive subject, say, in Portugal, and to those producers and manufacturers involved, as it is not just a simple device to put into a bottle of wine, but means jobs, and it risks the future of communities of people who rely on cork forests and the cork industry for their livelihoods.

The decision about which type of closure to use is not to be taken lightly. It can be a very costly mistake to get wrong. Particularly when you consider, on average, more than five percent of all bottles show some sort of closure fault (not just TCA, but also faults like oxidation and reduction). It makes sense then that you know exactly what the benefits and risks of which closure you are using, be it in making wine, or selling it.

Even that five percent figure is hotly contested when you start drilling down in to the “fault” levels for different types of closures. Cork taint, for example, is widely accepted as being the biggest reason for faults at around two percent. Which for a 300,000-case winery could mean throwing away some 72,000 bottles of wine a year.

So it was with some trepidation that I agreed to organize and host a roundtable debate on closures in partnership with Vinventions with leading restaurant buyers, sommeliers, importers, distributors, and wine merchants in the UK for my on-premise digital publication,

Open Debate

The concept was simple enough—to hold an open debate and give the panelists the floor to discuss which different types of closure they use and why, as well as identifying those closures they don’t use and the reasons why.

What soon became clear is that with so many different types of closures now to choose from, the buyers were quite open about not being as knowledgeable about what each closure can do. It might make difficult reading for closure manufacturers who invest continuous time and money into tweaking, adapting, and improving their closure range ever so slightly in the hope of catching the attention of powerful buyers and distributors.


But considering how much of the mainstream UK market is dominated by screwcap, it is not that surprising the panel was not completely aware of the diverse set of closures that Vinventions, for example, can offer.

Why, after all, does the average wine buyer, sommelier, or importer need to know the oxygen ingress levels of different types of closures when all your customers, be it in the trade or final consumer, just want an easy, quick screwcap to click open?

Seeking Closure

That said, given the choice and a blank sheet of paper to write down their favorite closure, the majority of our panel were still clearly wine romantics at heart who favor the ceremony of popping open a bottle of wine with an inner-seal closure like cork.

However, while natural cork might be the most widely-recognized of these closures, the panel unanimously agreed it is not the most reliable. Anxiety over cork faults has allowed far more openness to trying alternative closure options at higher price points, where a screwcap was not wanted or needed.

Further, the panel agreed that natural cork is not as viable at lower, high-volume price points where every cent or penny counts in the decision-making process—if you are going to use a natural cork then there is no point scrimping and saving on the quality.

In fact, it would be seen as commercial suicide to use a low-grade cork in a wine that might be aged for 10, 15, or 20 years. But plenty of producers do, only to leave disappointed importers, merchants, sommeliers, and customers in their wake. This has also opened the market up to other inner-seal closure options for these age-worthy wines—like Nomacorc’s Green Line—that were created to give winemakers peace of mind and guarantee protection from the kind of faults that can be seen all-too-often with natural cork products, like cork taint, oxidation, and reduction.

Closure Agnostic

It was interesting to see how split the buyers were on which non-cork closures they prefer. Most were what you might call closure-agnostic. Namely, buyers will put the wine rather than the closure first and pick the right closure for the right wine, depending on a range of factors from price to style to fashion to convenience.

It seems in the world of closures that no one is perfect. The UK panel all shared their frustrations and challenges with each different type of closure, even their company and personal favorites. Reassuringly, the decision over which closure a business chooses has not been taken lightly. A decision, once made, is hard for closure producers to change unless there is a specific need to do so.

And that’s what makes this an emotive topic. The decision about which closure you like is deeply personal as it rests 100 percent on the experiences that you, or your business, has had with them.

Our panelists would certainly welcome more debate about the merits and benefits of different types of closures and for the issue to be higher up the wine agenda than it is. It’s currently often pushed to the sidelines and to quality control teams. The panel even urged wine education bodies to make closure appreciation and understanding of different types of closures part of future syllabuses.

Particularly, as they all agreed, that often it is the closure, and normally a cork, that is the easy target to blame for any problem with a wine, when the issue probably lies in modern winemaking practices, like the reductive styles of wine that are now in such high demand.

But how many experienced, professional tasters can really identify what a fault is and what has caused it?

Time For More Debate

It was ironic that our closure debate did not achieve any closure at all. In fact, it did the complete opposite, but opened up the issue in ways that the buyers and panelists themselves did not expect.

Take the comparative tasting, for example. It comprised the same wine, bottled on the same day under the same conditions: The only difference between the bottles was the controlled oxygen ingress closure sealing it (Nomacorc’s Green Line range), which each had a specifically different permeability. When asked after the tasting which wine they favored best, the panel was split on their preference. It was for some a revelation that simply got them asking a lot more questions than they thought they needed answers to before starting the debate.

It’s an interesting concept—the point is not to show a “right” or “wrong” wine style, rather, to underline that different tasters prefer different styles, which can be highlighted through something as simple as the closure. It goes to show that each wine and winemaker’s style is different, and there is not one universal answer to what is the “best” kind of closure.

Ultimately that’s what great debates are all about—leaving you inspired and wanting to find out more. Here’s to the next one…

Read more on The Buyer’s website: Closures Debate: What do you want to put in a bottle of wine?

Download the full report from The Buyer: The Buyer’s Closures Debate.

Vinventions Announces Addition of New California-Based Sales Manager for Vintop Screwcaps, Alexandra Stump
17 July, 2017

—Leading wine closure company welcomes experienced team member to fulfill growing demand for Vintop in U.S.—

 Napa, CA (July 17, 2017) — Vinventions, the parent company of Nomacorc and worldwide leader of complete wine closure solutions, has announced that industry veteran Alexandra Stump has joined the team as a Sales Manager in California. The move marks yet another high-profile appointment as the company continues to grow and expand its offerings outside Nomacorc’s PlantCorc closures, the most widely recognized of the Vinventions brands.

Alexandra, who has over 14 years of experience in the wine packaging business, will be based primarily out of Napa and Sonoma County, and will be responsible with providing customers with Vinventions’ full range of product offerings across the region. In particular, she will focus on Vintop, the high-performance screwcap closure offered by the company. In addition to industry-leading décor capabilities, Vintop offers one of the largest selections of stock and standard color options. “We’re very excited to have Alex onboard,” says Mark Coleman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Americas at Vinventions. “Her extensive experience, professional reputation and knowledge of the closures market will be an invaluable resource for our U.S. sales team.”

“Alex will be a great addition to the West Coast sales unit,” says Malcolm Thompson, President of the Americas at Vinventions. “We’re confident that her considerable knowledge and winery relationships will reinforce and support the growing demand for Vintop in the U.S. today.”

Prior to joining the Vinventions team, Alexandra was a sales executive at Amcor Flexibles and, before that, a sales and marketing associate at Champagne André Clouet in Bouzy, France.



Vinventions was created by family entrepreneur Marc Noël with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg and additional partners. Vinventions’ goal is to become the most innovative and trusted global supplier of wine closure solutions to the still and sparkling wine industries. In January 2015, Vinventions acquired Nomacorc, the leading global supplier of premium plant-based closures to the wine industry. In July 2015, Ohlinger Group joined Vinventions, and in November 2015, Vinventions completed a distribution agreement with Vinolok/Vinoseal, adding high-performance glass closures to its growing range of wine closure solutions. Today, Vinventions has over 550 employees globally and operates six production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, and China. Vinventions protects every eighth wine bottle worldwide with its closures. The leadership values of Vinventions center on customer dedication, innovation, operational excellence, open teamwork, local entrepreneurship, and long-term responsibility.

06 July, 2017

Vinventions has released the latest version of the NomaSense PolyScan P200, the award-winning analyzer from its Wine Quality Solutions brand. Its new user interface makes phenolic content management even easier during winemaking.

Nîmes, France (July 6, 2017) — Two years after the launch of the first-generation PolyScan analyzer, a new version, the NomaSense PolyScan P200, is now available to the market. The new device has been completely redesigned for easier use and direct display of results.


“Direct access to the user interface and to the results on the analyzer’s touchscreen makes the use much easier, more intuitive and more suitable for cellar manipulation. The device is now completely portable and autonomous. Obtaining results in real time allows users to optimize their decisions and adapt their technical choices according to the musts and wines’ polyphenol content at different stages of winemaking,” explains Christine Pascal, Wine Research Manager at Vinventions.


The measurement technology, based on voltammetry, remains identical. Results are obtained in the form of indexes, EasyOx and PhenOx, indicating respectively the level of easily oxidizable polyphenols and total polyphenols of the must or wine analyzed. The indexes’ calculation was adapted according to the winemaking stage.


“Users can monitor the evolution of indexes during the winemaking process directly on the screen. The device also provides a percentage comparison with previous results and the minimum of the series,” says Pascal. “Moreover, thanks to the thousands of analyses performed in cellars or during experiments, reference values were determined for some of the applications and grape varieties. They are displayed in the new analyzer to better guide the user.”


The analyzer works with the latest generation of electrodes, introduced to the market in August 2016, which are easier to handle and ensure highly repeatable results.


To secure data, recordings are automatically downloaded to a web interface via Wi-Fi. “Each customer can save their data, view the history of the measurements and extract data for further processing,” explains Pascal.


New applications are under development. “Calculation of the tannins/anthocyanins ratio during red wines winemaking is currently being finalized and will soon be available to facilitate decisions related to racking or to optimize wine ageing choices,” adds Stéphane Vidal, Vice-President of Wine Quality Solutions for Vinventions.


To learn more on the new NomaSense PolyScan P200 analyzer, please contact the Wine Quality Solutions team:





In September 2014, Nomacorc, world renowned as an expert in oxygen management, launched Wine Quality Solutions (WQS), an offer of analyzers, equipment and services developed by its Enology Team. In January 2015, WQS became one of the seven brands of Vinventions. Years of research on wine oxygen management conducted in collaboration with academic institutions around the world—as well as the introduction of NomaSense O2 P300 & P6000 in 2009, the reference TPO meter and oxygen analyzer in the wine industry—enabled WQS to acquire a solid expertise in gas management during the winemaking process, bottling, and post-bottling storage. This expertise has been extended to manage other key parameters of wine quality such as color, polyphenols and carbon dioxide. The WQS offer allows in fine resolving in real time the main technical challenges to obtain better quality wines. WQS provides winemakers with decision support tools and customized services to achieve the desired wine style and ensure lasting success.




Vinventions was created by family entrepreneur Marc Noël with Bespoke Capital Partners, Heino Freudenberg and additional partners. Vinventions’ goal is to become the most innovative and trusted global supplier of wine closure solutions to the still and sparkling wine industries. In January 2015, Vinventions acquired Nomacorc, the leading global supplier of premium plant-based closures to the wine industry. In July 2015, Ohlinger Group joined Vinventions, and in November 2015, Vinventions completed a distribution agreement with Vinolok/Vinoseal, adding high-performance glass closures to its growing range of wine closure solutions. Today, Vinventions has over 550 employees globally and operates six production sites in USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Argentina, and China. Vinventions protects every eighth wine bottle worldwide with its closures. The leadership values of Vinventions center on customer dedication, innovation, operational excellence, open teamwork, local entrepreneurship, and long-term responsibility.

Shelf Life: How to Forecast and Manage It
11 April, 2017

More or less, each of us has an idea about what “shelf life” means for a food product: It’s “the length of time that a commodity may be stored without becoming unfit for use, consumption, or sale” (Wikipedia). Does this definition also apply to wine? After all, no wine label bears the words “best if consumed before…”—yet. Actually, though, shelf life is a notion that affects every kind of wine, from the fresh ones to the most aged ones because, as Vinventions researcher Stéphane Vidal says, it “is about having the right product at the right moment” and is apparently something of interest for all wine producers.

That’s why the Department of Biotechnologies at the University of Verona recently organized a conference about shelf life in the wine world, with the collaboration of Assoenologi (the Italian Association of Oenologists) and Nomacorc, the renowned leader for wine closures and now a member of Vinventions.

“Any wine has its own shelf life, so our starting point must be the features of the wine itself,” notes Vidal. “After that, we have to worry about the evolution we want the wine to have to get the best experience for the consumer: a constant pleasure in tasting.” With this, we can never forget that time is a crucial factor in the process, and has its own influence.

That said, how can you manage the shelf life?

shelf life“You have to be able to measure the oxygen in the wine, managing the reduction risks and, of course, your wine needs to have the proper amount of polyphenols,” states Vidal. Easy to say, a bit less to do. Each grape is, in fact, a “world apart” and its polyphenols, the main actors in the phenomena of reduction or oxidation that affect the “wine time,” are just one of the most important keys to this. If you can measure them in real-time, you’ll be able to control and predict the shelf life itself.

“Managing the shelf life means that when the final consumer uncorks that bottle, the wine won’t be oxidized or reduced,” says Christine Pascal, another researcher with Vinventions. “The wine will evolve, but without going into the two ‘risk groups’ of oxidation or reduction.” Again, a lot depends on the grape itself: We have to figure out how many precursors of oxidation or reduction our wine might have according to the grape variety. “Measuring these polyphenols will allow us to understand the duration of the shelf life,” she explains.

Doing that analysis takes time and is a complex and expensive issue; however, now, thanks to a new Vinventions technology (PolyScan from the Wine Quality Solutions group), it is becoming easier, and so is the management of polyphenols in real time.

At the same time, though, demonizing the oxygen would be a mistake, as Angelita Gambuti (University “Federico II” of Naples) explains: “There are very tannic red wines that need oxygen to improve. The issue is that the process goes on and on,” and the switch from improvement to oxidation becomes only a matter of time. There are several solutions to that problem, but the simplest one is also affordable for every cellar: choosing a closure with a controlled permeability. And speaking of that, what happens to a wine sealed with a screw cap? Its critics often complain about the “flavor of reduction” the wine might have; worried by this possibility, the oenologists often add a bit of copper (the authorized quantity is max. 1 mg/liter), before bottling, as a preventive measure. “Too bad that copper kills a lot of freshness flavors even before any reduction problem occurs,” adds Maurizio Ugliano, enology professor at the University of Verona. “Furthermore, in some cases it has been observed that the presence of copper increases the problems, rather than eliminate them.”

Conclusions? The wine producer who wants to predict the evolution of the wine has to worry about three things: the oxygen dissolved in the wine itself, that oxygen in the “bottle headspace” (i.e. the space that exists between the wine and the closure) and the permeability of the closure. Most of the time there is more oxygen in the headspace than dissolved in the wine—the same “variance of bottles” depends more on this element than on the quality of the closure.

The most important thing to remember is that, on average, the TPO (Total Package Oxygen, the total amount of oxygen present in a bottle), can compromise a few years of aging already starting from the first day of bottling. Moreover, selecting the most suitable closure for the expected shelf life will allow each wine to evolve in the way the winemaker intended.


by Elisabetta Tosi

This piece was first published on in Italian. 


Images courtesy of and

Know Your Components: Thiols, a Complicated Compound
08 March, 2017

Among the myriad components that make up wine, very few have entirely positive or negative roles to play. Take volatile thiols, for instance, a family of molecules also known as mercaptans that are sulfur-containing compounds—specifically, they all include a sulfhydryl group (-SH). Aromas associated with mercaptans are either reduction-like (burnt rubber, cabbage, flint, smoke) or fruity (grapefruit, passion fruit).

Thiols are found in many wines, though the compounds present may differ between them. For example, Sauvignon Blanc possesses 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one (4MMP), 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH), and 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol acetate (3MHA), which are the primary compounds that contribute to characteristic Sauvignon Blanc aromas. 4MMP is known to contribute box tree, passion fruit, and black currant aromas; 3MH contributes grapefruit, gooseberry, passion fruit, and guava aromas; and 3MHA contributes grapefruit, gooseberry, sweet passion fruit, box tree, and guava aromas.

The perception thresholds for these compounds vary, though all are considered to be relatively low. Specifically, these thresholds have been found to be 0.8ng/L, 60ng/L, and 4.2ng/L, for 4MMP, 3MH, and 3MHA, respectively.

While these compounds impart pleasant aromas in wines, others can be problematic. For instance, during fermentation, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can form and interact with benzaldehyde to produce methyl mercaptan, giving off less-than-desirable aromas like garlic, cabbage, and cooked vegetables. The threshold for methyl mercaptan is very low as well—0.02 parts per billion can be enough to make it detectable in water. Other compounds, like 2-methyl 3-furanethiol or benzenemethane thiol, can give smoky aromas that can have more variable effects, depending on concentration and interactions with other aromas.


It isn’t completely understood how thiols form in wine, though there are some solid theories. These compounds aren’t present in grapes, or only in trace amounts. The winemaking process is what brings them out—fruity thiols have precursors in the grapes that are revealed through fermentation, while reductive/smoky mercaptans seem to form during the entire vinification process.

One possible mechanism relates to nitrogen availability during fermentation. Basically, yeasts need a good nitrogen supply to go through fermentation. If there is a good nitrogen supply, the yeasts should be happy and the finished wine should be pleasant. Reductive thiols can form and become problematic when the nitrogen source for the yeasts is limited. If there isn’t enough nitrogen, the yeasts will start to use the nitrogen tied up in the amino acid cysteine, which possesses a sulfur group. When the yeasts break down the cysteine for nitrogen, the sulfur group is released and can interact with other compounds in the wine, yielding H2S and the off-aromas associated with H2S buildup.

A new study found that even the yeast strain is important in determining thiol/mercaptan formation during fermentation. Other studies have shown that yeast strain can also affect the development of 3MH and 3MHA in wines, as the yeasts reveal the precursors to give fruity notes.

Another mechanism for the formation of reductive or smoky mercaptans is thought to occur during aging. In order for this formation to occur, it’s thought there may exist an odorless precursor or multiple precursors that react over time with other compounds in the wine under a reduced oxygen environment to form these undesirable mercaptans. Studies have shown that significant increases in methyl mercaptan can occur in bottled wine, especially with lower post-bottling oxygen exposure.

On the other hand, volatile thiols such as 3MH and 3MHA have been shown to decrease over time, particularly when exposed to more oxidative conditions. There are a couple ways that can happen. First, they can oxidize easily when exposed to oxygen and iron, and second, they can react with other compounds in the wine like o-quinones and phenolic compounds, resulting in the formation of non-volatile compounds that would effectively reduce the recognizable varietal character of that wine. It has also been shown that factors like oxygen exposure, copper, or glutathione additions can greatly affect the longer-term presence of thiols like 3MH in bottled wine.

Some have speculated that mercaptans may form via odorless complexes with metal cations. Specifically, winemakers will often use copper salts to remove mercaptans from wine. Some evidence supports the idea that it isn’t possible to remove all the mercaptans from the wine and there remains some copper-mercaptan complexes in the solution that react in the bottle over time to release the mercaptans into an odorous form.


While the mechanisms still remain relatively unknown, we know more about the production of mercaptans in wine than ever. Still, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and how to optimize mercaptans levels in wine. So what can you do as a winemaker? Monitoring nitrogen levels and/or selecting a yeast strain that is known to yield lower H2S (and the subsequent mercaptan products produced from reactions involving H2S in the fermenting and aging wine) should help reduce H2S formation and encourage the formation of fruity thiols. Finally, carefully controlling the level of oxygen exposure during aging can also help maintain a proper balance of varietal aromatic characteristics in the wine. Too little oxygen can set up an environment favorable to runaway mercaptan formation, while too much oxygen opens up a whole other can of worms. Choosing the appropriate closure for your wine can also help reduce the chances of developing off odors caused by certain mercaptans while maximizing the desired aromatic characteristics associated with other volatile thiols.

by Becca Yeamans-Irwin — Wine Science 

See Selected Sources here



Getting it on with your Phenolics: How to Optimize their Use and Make Better Wine
06 December, 2016

Sure, fruity aromas are nice and everything, but the experience of a wine is much more than that. A large part of it has to do with textural and visual aspects, as well, and that’s where phenolics play a major role in how wines express themselves and how they are enjoyed.

At a session on managing phenolics at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) in Brighton earlier this year, Professor James Kennedy of California State University at Fresno, pointed out that phenolics are essential in wine because of their impact on “the visual, aromatic, and tactile properties of wine.” The color of a red wine and the stability of that color, for instance, is entirely due to how phenolics come together during vinification, in particular as anthocyanins combine with tannins—or not. Texture and length on the palate is also largely due to phenolic components—in particular, the quantity of tannins present, as well as the length of their molecular chains.

As Kennedy pointed out, phenolics have effects on white wines as well, as they can be responsible for bitterness in the wines, as well as some aromatic elements, depending on whether the juice is oxidized early on, or kept protected from oxygen (approaches more commonly known as “brown juice” or “green juice”). The emergence of orange wines—wines produced from white grapes using skin maceration, in a way that is closer to red winemaking than usual white winemaking—also raises a whole set of reflections surrounding phenolics, as various techniques (short or long macerations, whole-bunch macerations, vinification in amphoras or barrels) create different and sometimes unexpected results.

Every Grape is Different

Pinot Noir grapesAs with many things in winemaking, there isn’t a single way of looking at phenolics or managing them. “You have to understand the variety,” added professor Kennedy, as a way of underscoring how phenolic content varies considerably from one grape variety to the next. For instance, Pinot Noir has less phenolic components than most red grape varieties, showing less color because of lower anthocyanin content and also a different tannic feel, because a higher proportion of tannins, overall, come from the seeds, rather than the skins. Cabernet Sauvignon would be at the other end of the spectrum, with lots of color and bigger tannins coming largely from the skins. Using the same length of maceration or the same pressing strategies would lead to very different results, depending on whether you’re using them on Grenache, Syrah, or Cinsault.

At the ICCWS session, Professor Anna Katherine Mansfield, associate professor of enology at Cornell University in New York, went one step further when she pointed out that tannins vary considerably depending on the family of grapes being used. 


Read the rest of the article here >>

New “Green Line” Wine Closure Portfolio
03 October, 2016

Reveals Strategy Towards 100% Sustainable Products

Global leader in wine closures unveils plans to introduce Green Line portfolio based on new PlantCorc™ innovation—


Nomacorc, a member of Vinventions™ and the world’s leading producer of premium wine closures, unveils a new category of closures with unparalleled standards in performance, design and sustainability. The new “Green Line” represents a fundamental shift towards the use of renewable plant-based raw materials for Nomacorc’s entire product portfolio, while also advancing performance and aesthetics. The Green Line comprises the flagship product Reserva, and includes Select Green, Classic Green and Smart Green as well as the sparkling closure Zest Premium.

An industry pioneer in oxygen management and innovation, the company began using sustainable raw materials in 2013 with the launch of Select® Bio, the world’s first zero-carbon-footprint closure, made with biopolymers derived from sugarcane. Today, Select Bio is used by some of North America’s most premium, critically-acclaimed wineries.

“The new Green Line continues our journey towards sustainability one important step further,” says Dr. Heino Freudenberg, CEO of Vinventions. “Our PlantCorc™ technology marries science and nature to offer our customers wine closures that are not only sustainable, TCA-free and glue-free, but also 100 percent consistent. This in turn allows us to offer our customers even lower oxygen ingress options and red wine preservation performance of up to 25 years.” Besides its nature-based raw materials, the Green Line is produced using renewable energy and is 100 percent recyclable.

Green LineIn addition to advancements in performance and sustainability, the Nomacorc Green Line also introduces an enhanced look and feel across closures—soft-feel surfaces, chamfered edges and embossed ends are now standard within the entire portfolio. These improved premium aesthetics were previously available only for Select Green (formerly Select Bio) and Zest Premium, the recently-launched zero-carbon-footprint sparkling wine closure.

Nomacorc has made further advancements in controlling oxygen ingress within the Green Line closures, thanks to its proprietary PlantCorc production technique. “With our closure offerings, winemakers can use our precise oxygen ingress range to allow for the best wine expression,” said Dr. Stéphane Vidal, Vice President of Enology and Head of Wine Quality Solutions for Vinventions. “We are proud to announce that our new Nomacorc Reserva™ closure will preserve wine in the bottle for up to 25 years for a unique consumer experience,” he adds.

The Green Line is now available for winemakers globally. The new Reserva closure will be coming soon, along with several other product innovations that will be announced by Vinventions next year.

Seriously, Who is Your Customer?
10 August, 2016

So, who’s your customer?

It’s complicated. Wine drinkers, sure. They’re the end-end customers, the people who love wine—and just might love your wine.

IMG_2611But a wine marketer’s customers are also distributors, wholesalers, retailers, on-premise buyers—the myriad players in the epic drama of the three-tier system.

That’s why consumer targeting isn’t enough. Wine brands also need business-to-business strategies to build reach and loyalty—techniques gleaned from experts both inside and outside of the wine industry.

At its tenth Exchange forum, held earlier last month at Bardessono in Yountville, Calif., Nomacorc gathered marketing and branding experts and a roomful of wine marketers. The agenda: a daylong discussion of tactics to identify, delight, and build loyalty—whether your customer is a single twenty-something or a twenty-restaurant chain. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE...

Merlots and Medals: Veteran Wine Judge Tim McDonald on the History and Impact of Wine Competitions
28 June, 2016

Lined up with gleaming stickers of gold, silver, and bronze slapped on their labels, award-winning wines stand at attention on shelves across the country like so many grape generals turned out for a military parade.

But does a Merlot with a medal taste better than one without? And, perhaps more importantly, does it sell better?

red row 2The relevance of wine competitions has been emphasized this year with a flurry of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest wine showdowns ever, the famous Judgment of Paris tasting where California vintages bested some big names in French wine—a huge score for the New World that established the Golden State’s credentials as a major player and sent sales soaring.

The 1976 tasting was a relatively casual affair arranged by Stephen Spurrier, an Englishman looking to muster attention for his Paris wine shop, and featuring only 20 wines. Today’s big competitions are big business, drawing hundreds, sometimes thousands, of entries and handing out equally substantial amounts of hardware.

Some say too much hardware. The notion of wine competitions (and the 100-points ratings scale popularized by pioneering critic Robert Parker) as a reliable measure of wine quality hasn’t gone unchallenged.

Among the criticisms are complaints that competitions have an incentive to reward wineries, who pay fees to enter—more than $1 million a year according to some estimates—and that judging can be inconsistent. Robert T. Hodgson, a retired professor with a background in statistics who is also a winemaker, has published research showing inconsistency in medal results—wines ranked gold in one contest got no medals of any color in others.

tim spittingTo help make sense of this, we went to an expert for some answers—wine industry veteran Tim McDonald.

McDonald knows competitions; he’s served as a wine judge at more than 200 wine and spirits competitions in North America and is currently director of wine judging at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and chief judge at the Central Coast Wine Competition. And he knows wine. Currently a partner at the media relations consultancy Wine Spoken Here his previous experience includes serving as marketing director of fine wine communications at E. & J. Gallo and director of trade relations at Trinchero Family Estates.


Let’s talk history. What do you think was the legacy of the Paris Tasting?

McDonald: The Paris Tasting, which is almost a half-century-old, made all of us aware of blind competitions and how a group of tasters can come up with sometimes surprising results. The legacy is that fair-and-square tastings are the standard now. The blind tasting reveals the best wine in the class or type.

Could something like that happen today?

Tim at The Best of Challenge 2013

McDonald: In today’s time a Paris-type tasting will not have the same impact mainly because the drinking public gets their wine recommendations from the clerk in their favorite shop whether a small wine store or a big operation like BevMo!. The vast majority of buyers pay attention to a myriad of things like scores or awards or accolades. And, there are so many places to get a score these days. Also at websites like and many others you can get aggregated scores and reviews.

How important do you think wine ratings/medals are to consumers today? 

McDonald: Ratings and reviews and scores still matter, perhaps even more today. We still have the Academy Awards, Olympics, The Grammys, The Derby, The World Series and the scoring system is not going away anytime soon. Younger wine drinkers ask their friends or the shopkeeper or look at POS in store shelves. And now that so many are buying wine online they pay attention to what that source says. The wholesale distributor relies more than ever for scores for the off trade to “sell in.” This is not as key in restaurants.

What does a major competition win mean for a producer?

McDonald: A win sells more wine if you communicate it to your fans and friends. I manage the judges at two competitions, the San Francisco event in June and the Central Coast Wine Classic. Every year there is a story about the brand that won Best Cabernet or Winery of the Year and the winery sells out of the winning pick or the traffic to the visitor’s center rises.

You’ve seen the Hodgson research maintaining that wine competitions are inherently subjective. What do you think about that?

McDonald: The evaluation or judging of wines is and always will be subjective. Some expert tasters like low oak and some don’t. Some like dark Pinot and some like lighter ones; some dislike higher alcohol and some don’t. Some judges love natural/organic/biodynamic/orange wines—some don’t care how the farming is practiced. What tastes great is what usually wins in a three- to five-person panel blind taste. I have judged hundreds of wine competitions and all of them are different with different judges, held at different times of the year and logically get different results. I believe it is the SUM of the PARTS—scores, gold medals, and solid reviews make a reputation for a particular wine. These wine competitions regardless of when and where they are held depend on the WHO part, as in who is judging and running the competition. For the most part they are all quite fair. But if I were a winery entering a particular competition or magazine submission the WHO part would be Number 1.

What do you think will be the next big thing in terms of how wines are evaluated and presented to consumers? 


McDonald: Frankly I would like to see aggregated wine reviews from important sources. For instance, a Double Gold in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, 90 points in Wine Spectator and seen in Sunset Magazine as one of the “Top Eight Chardonnays for Summer.” Buzz is created from multiple recommendations and if you are making great wine this should happen over and over till you move on to the next vintage.

June 28, 2016 — by Michelle Locke

Why is Wine Marketing so Stale? An Open Letter to the Industry at Large
31 May, 2016


The other day, I had an interview with an Italian wine magazine where I shared some of my experiences as both a wine marketer and a winery owner. The journalist’s questions got me thinking about the deep confusion around the term “marketing.”

Too often, I see the term marketing being confused with sales and I see marketing tactics confused with marketing strategy. It begs the question, what is “marketing,” and how can it be employed successfully?

The Evolution of Marketing

First, let’s look at the basics and how marketing has evolved. Marketing has progressed based on global, political, social, and cultural events. Philip Kotler’s book, Marketing 3.0, perfectly simplifies this evolution:

Marketing 1.0: Back in the ’50s and ’60s marketing was tactical. It was focused on product management because it had to support industrial growth. In this phase, the concepts of “marketing mix” and the “4 Ps” were born. Marketing served to support production functions. Marketing meant developing a product, with a proper price, with an adequate promotion, and distributed in the right places.

Marketing 2.0: Fast-forward to the next 20 years and marketing evolved from a product-focused discipline to a client-centered management procedure. The oil crisis redefined global market powers and the slower product demand during uncertain times led to the need for something more than the 4Ps. To stimulate demand, marketing had to shift from being a purely tactical function to a strategic discipline. Marketing activities focused on creating consumer needs with specific product positioning to the targeted consumer.

Marketing 3.0: The next developmental stage came with the internet. Consumers became connected and the decision-making power shifted to their fingertips as they started to make up their own minds about products, services, and companies. This connectedness characterizes the new era of marketing. To create demand, it is no longer enough to access the minds of consumers; there is a need to access their hearts too.

Concepts like emotional marketing, experiential marketing, and brand equity were created to adapt marketing to this new connected consumer. This adjustment meant moving from client-centered marketing to brand-centered marketing. In a current era characterized by recession and loss of trust, the objective of brand management is to establish a trusted bond with consumers through identity, integrity, and authentic image.

This graph accurately shows the evolution of marketing:

Kotler Marketing

Source: Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit by P. Kotler, H. Kartajaya, and I. Setiawan

According to Kotler, author of over 50 marketing books, consultant, and distinguished professor, “Marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures, and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.”

From my experience in marketing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, I can attest that without strategic marketing, companies cannot succeed. In organizations that understand the value of marketing, no product or service is ever made without an evidence-based marketing plan in place.

On the contrary, many in the wine industry consider marketing unnecessary. In most cases, marketing is a misused term, and in the wine industry, as in many others, this misuse has created a confused idea about what it truly entails.

In response, I want to offer a few points to clarify these distorted beliefs, which I hope will help shed light on the importance of true marketing within our industry:

Tactics are NOT Strategy

A strategy is a plan to reach specific business objectives and tactics are the means used to reach these goals. Strategy is planning, is the “why,” is hard to copy, and is long-term. Tactic, on the other hand, is doing, is the “how,” is easy to copy, and is short-term.

Social media, trade shows, and events are all tactics. What you communicate on your labels or website is a tactic. These are all things brands use to reach their objectives. A strategy includes planning with quantitative and qualitative research data, with quantifiable sales and profit projections, and with a plan to follow up and maintain market demand.

Tactics are part of the strategy. If a brand uses only tactics without strategy, it will end-up acting on short-term plans without real sight of the long-term future.

Marketing is NOT Sales

Walk into most large companies and you will see that marketing and sales departments are separate. When I was a brand manager at Danone, I experienced what that relationship between marketing and sales departments is like. One of my most challenging experiences was presenting a three-year marketing plan of the main yogurt brand to the national sales team composed of 300 hard-to-convince men and women. Standing alone as a marketing manager in front a merciless sales team is difficult because these are the people who execute what marketing people plan. They have to go out in the market every day and experience first-hand market resistance or success.

However, before the sale of any product, the long and extensive marketing work often goes unseen. Marketing involves thoroughly investigating the market itself, researching consumers, and identifying unmet needs and desires before developing and selling a product.

Marketing is there before a product is made and is there long after it is sold. Marketing also decides when a product should be withdrawn from the market based on its performance.

Opinions vs. Evidence-based Decisions

Strategic marketing starts with the search for evidence of a market opportunity for a product or service. The wine industry tends to make most of its strategic decisions based on opinions and the past. In the Old World, the mentality that “it’s always been like this” is deeply rooted in business decisions. Anything that is different from the well-established and well-known route is marginalized, even if it is based on clear evidence. Somehow, opinions, experiences, and authoritative influences have more weight in decision making than data and market evidence.

While there are many research results out there (and are either free or affordable), very few wine companies actually know how to interpret insights and integrate them into the decision-making process. There is an abundance of information for a non-receptive audience who very often finds it easier to rely on opinions than evidence. Which brings me to my next point…

Professional Qualifications

There is no sugarcoated way of saying this, but the wine industry lacks a diversity of high professional standards. In other industries, to be considered a thought leader or authority, one needs to obtain certain credentials or accomplish certain milestones. In the wine industry it seems that the louder the voice you have, the more influence you have.

There is so much pressure from the wine trade to pursue the WSET diploma for vocational training and knowledge, but the industry does not require the same standards for marketing wine. Why is it acceptable to have self-proclaimed, opinionated marketing individuals influence decision-making?

I do not ask this question to offend, but rather, to encourage the industry to truly think about the marketing strategies we employ. While everyone is entitled to have an opinion about how wine should be marketed, or about what consumers want and need, very few are really skilled to understand and apply evidence-based strategic marketing. I believe that there should be higher professional standards to be a marketer of value.

Final Thoughts

Looking back at the evolution of marketing as a discipline, it is clear that wine marketing is still in its first stage of evolution. In many cases, it only defines the 4Ps and supports production.

Different markets behave differently; some are business-oriented and marketing serves to generate profit, while others are stuck at the notion that it is solely a cost and there is no need for it. Between these two extremes, there is a gap, and it’s called the consumer.

The entire marketing 2.0 and 3.0 phases, as defined by Kotler, are yet to become mainstream. Generally, marketing in the wine industry is still not consumer-focused, and as a result, it finds itself in a fast-moving, short-termed tactical world without well-defined objectives and strategies.

The real threat is not only the stagnant evolution of wine marketing, but also the competitive landscape in which wine exists. As expressed in an earlier piece, wine marketers need to understand that they are battling for a limited consumer stomach-share. Brands are not competing only within their own categories, but across all alcoholic beverage categories. Understanding consumption moments, occasions, and moods are essential for successfully marketing brands. Simply developing a product, with a proper price, with an adequate promotion to be distributed in the right places is not enough to secure an economically sustainable growth.

I believe it’s time the industry embraced marketing in a professional manner and understood the importance of a long-term vision. Wine needs to grow up fast; otherwise it will find itself even less prepared for the next evolution.

Photo credit: Unsplash.

by Reka Haros


Millennials, Mindsets & Money: Increasing Online Sales by Wineries
03 May, 2016

Across industries from banking to beer, sales and marketing departments are grappling with the Millennial generation—how to reach them and sell to them. As for wine, Millennials now outnumber Boomers, drink nearly as much as Boomers, and are expected to surpass Boomer consumption in a few years. Millennials will shape the market for years to come. Online sales is an important avenue to reach this new generation of wine consumers. Our research, sponsored by Nomacorc, specifically aimed to tackle the critical business issue of helping wineries build their online wine sales among Millennials.

Executives from over two dozen wineries pointed out how critical the need is for nearly every winery to build up the online sales portion of their revenue mix. Distribution challenges make it hard for wineries to sell at retail or in restaurants, and community opposition to wine tourism threatens the direct-to-consumer tasting room, club, and event sales many wineries depend upon. They look to the emerging online sales channel to help them deal with these pressing business realities, increase their sales, and hold on to more profit margin in order to bolster their near-term financial condition and assure their long-term viability.

This post outlines our research goals, key findings, and strategy suggestions for wineries that seek to increase their online wine sales today. More finely detailed results, discussion, and strategies will be available in a soon-to-be released book that Nomacorc will make available later this summer.

Research Goals

Our research set out to accomplish three things that will help wineries create marketing strategies for their online wine sales:

  • People differ in their approach to buying wine online. Our first task identified the various mindsets people hold towards buying wine online from wineries.
  • People respond to marketing messages differently. One person can be turned on by an idea, another appalled. The second task set out to discover the marketing messages that have the highest “pulling power” within each mindset—the ones that most strongly interest a person in buying.
  • Buying any product has an emotional component. Our third task was to identify the emotional satisfaction online wine buyers seek from a purchase.

Achieving these goals enabled us to uncover the “why” underlying online wine buying, not simply the “what” that so many studies report. Armed with the knowledge of the marketing messages that work and for whom, wineries are now in a position to select and communicate those messages that are most likely to contribute to sales.

Five Key Findings

Our research identified five high-level findings:

1. A market exists today for online wine sales by wineries.  About 50 percent of Millennials in our study would make a purchase within the next six months. There was no difference in intent between Younger Millennials (21-26) and Older Millennials (27-34).

2. There is no single type of Millennial online wine buyer. Millennials fall into one of three unique mindset segments towards buying wine online from a winery. Each requires its own messaging strategy directed by the research. For each segment, we give it a brief description and recommend a messaging strategy based on the marketing messages that substantially raise interest in buying wine online, along with an expectation for each segment’s profitability.

  • Segment 1: Discerning, buys into the winery and wine (20 percent of sample). People in this segment are pursuing wine.
    Messaging strategy: Appeal to their interest in distinctive, artisanal, handcrafted wines. Lower their purchase risk by giving them confidence in the wine they are buying—provide detailed descriptions and tasting notes, and highlight those bottles that have garnered high community ratings. It’s not the wine alone; wineries should emphasize their compelling back-stories and show how they conduct operations with uncompromising integrity. Downplay rewards and discounts as these do not drive Segment 1 people’s interest in buying wine online. This group will pay the most for a bottle.
    Profitability Expectation: Highest among the three groups because this segment will spend the most for wine that interests them, and they are less deal-oriented. We consider this a “luxury” strategy.
  • Segment 2: Quality wine at a great price (20 percent of sample). This group is most interested in a fantastic deal on a great wine.
    Messaging strategy: In contrast to Segment 1, tout discounted or free shipping, quantity discount availability, and specials and promotions. Like Segment 1, they want quality wine from right-minded wineries. But these are table stakes for them—they wouldn’t consider buying if the wine did not seriously interest them. For Segment 2, the deal matters most. This group will pay less than Segment 1 for a bottle.
    Profitability Expectation: This group will pay less than Segment 1 for bottles that interest them. Wineries marketing to this group will likely have to give up some margin in order to satisfy this group’s need for lower prices. We consider this a “value” strategy.
  • Segment 3: On the cusp (60 percent of sample). This, the largest group, is uncertain about buying wine online from a winery.
    Messaging Strategy: None of the ideas crossed our threshold for high “pulling power.” Several ideas bubbled below the threshold that may be worthwhile to employ as background assurances. These concerned pricing, reducing purchase risk, and enjoying their wine with friends and family. This group will pay the least for a bottle.
    Profitability Expectation: This group will pay the least for a bottle. Individuals in this group are not yet as interested in buying wine online from wineries as the first two segments. For most wineries, Segment 3 would be a secondary consideration today. We expect people in this group to offer less action while being the most costly to acquire in the near term, but they represent potential over time. We consider this an ‘investment” strategy with returns mostly in the future.

3. Each segment reflects a different potential for sales and needs its own person-centered strategy for effective online wine marketing.
Marketing effectively to each segment means that wineries should have a way of identifying visitors and assigning each one of them to a segment, and then tailoring visitors’ onsite experience with the marketing messages that work best for their segment. We developed an app that assigns people to a segment—it takes under a minute, so that wineries can know very quickly which visitors belong to each segment. The app can be incorporated into a web or mobile page, email form, etc., so that it is easily and seamlessly accessible to visitors. You can try the app out here.

Segment 1 and Segment 2 represent near-term opportunity—they account for 40 percent of Millennials, and should be the most productive for wineries selling wine online. Segment 3, although larger, appears to offer less potential today and would most likely be considered a secondary target for most wineries selling online.

Wineries marketing online to Millennials should create unique strategies for each mindset segment that are developed in line with their winery’s business goals, business model, values, practices, offerings, services, and experiences.

4. Millennials seek specific emotional satisfactions from online wine buying. These are the same no matter which mindset segment a Millennial belongs to.

For many people, online wine buying is a risky business. That risk can be a turnoff if not addressed, leading to abandoned shopping carts and lost sales. Combined with the mindset messaging strategies that wineries create, including ways to satisfy the emotions that come into play can help visitors overcome resistance to buying while helping them feel great about their purchases.

Going in, we had expected that different mindset segments would express different emotional needs. Instead we found that the emotional satisfactions sought were universal: they applied to every segment. We uncovered three emotional drivers:

  • Online wine buyers do not want to feel insecure—they want to feel that they are buying the right wine and feel a sense of accomplishment about purchasing it.
  • They do not want to feel disempowered—they want to feel that that they are getting what they want.
  • Nor do they want to feel disengaged—they want to look forward to drinking what they’re buying and to feel that they will enjoy it with others.

5. Millennials are not unique. The mindset segments apply to all generations.
We also studied Boomers and Xers so that we could compare and contrast them to Millennials. We found that the older generations fall into the mindset segments in nearly the same percentages as Millennials. Emotional satisfactions showed the same patterns. The upshot is that marketing strategies based on the segments and emotions can be consistent across generations—helpful to creating a total market strategy that is crucial for brand growth—but specifics like imagery, sounds, and language should be tailored to each generation to ensure relevance.

Wrapping Up

Some of what we’ve written might be familiar to you. In talking with various wineries about our results, we learned that many wineries have some of the ideas about segments and use some of the marketing messages. What our research gave them, they said, was a sensible, easy-to-apply framework that sharpened the winery’s understanding of its customers’ thoughts and emotions, equipping them to increase sales by offering a more compelling site and online buying experience for each visitor.

As mentioned, Nomacorc will be distributing a book and e-book with more detail. We are happy to speak with you about the findings and recommendations and how they can apply to you and be implemented by you.

Please feel free to contact us through Jeff Slater of Nomacorc, or directly by email.

Photo credit to: OnePageReview and Snooth.


By Dr. Howard R. Moskowitz

Dr. Howard R. Moskowitz created the science of mind genomics, a way to understand the different mindsets people have towards any product, service, or experience, and to use that understanding for segmenting consumer interest, discovering the features that people most desire, and for identifying the messages that work to create sales. Prego’s chunky tomato sauce, the Goodyear AquaTread tire, the first Braun electric toothbrush, Vlasic’s Zesty Pickles, Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, are just a few of the breakthrough brands created with the mind genomics method that have created billions of dollars in sales. Howard, the author of more than 20 books and 400 peer-reviewed articles, was awarded his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Why Green Certify? Marketing Versus Sustainability
20 April, 2016

By Taylor Eason

It’s no secret that wineries spend umpteen dollars maintaining their vineyards, proudly pruning and preening their way to a better quality grape. In theory, official certifications put these efforts on a pedestal to gain authority and legitimacy in the eyes of the wine world. But does anyone care besides the wineries themselves? If, according to the2015 Survey of American Wine Consumer Preferences, conducted by Sonoma State University and the Wine Business Institute, only 18 percent of the respondents indicated that organic, sustainable, or biodynamic wines influence their decision to purchase a wine, why get certified in the first place? The answer lies somewhere in the heart, not the wallet.

What doesn’t make sense from this recent survey is that consumers recycle, buy organic food, and extol the virtues of solar power. But buy organic-labeled wine, they historically have not. Countless wineries tend their vines organically, biodynamically or sustainably, but two-thirds of California wineries that adopt eco-certification do not mention their involvement on their labels.Meanwhile, in the grocery store, organically-labeled food sales have grown double digits every year since 19972.. So why is wine being left behind? Perhaps consumers assume that all wineries grow sustainably because the land would become fallow otherwise. Nonsensical as that is for those in the know, our industry needs to realize green messaging is fast becoming a relevant wine marketing angle on all sales fronts.

My colleague, Reka Haros, wrote in a recent Nomacorc post that the now-dominant millennials are “environmentally and socially aware idealistic people who give importance to value-driven brands.” So if wineries aren’t currently using the certifications to market to consumers, why are they doing it? In 2014, a survey conducted by UCLA to owners and managers of California wineries provided their top motivation for adopting sustainable certification practices. The list included providing a clean environment for future generations, improved quality of grapes/wines, long-term viability of business, maintaining soil quality, and growing consumer demand. Consumer demand arrived last on the list.

Green Wineries

So I went to the source, asking three wineries to weigh in on why they spent time and money to gain green certification.

Sustainable since the beginning, Honig Vineyards in Napa Valley is no green bandwagon-er. Their brand story has historically relied on green messaging even though they’ve never heralded it on their labels. In fact, when I interviewed Michael Honig, his certifications weren’t even on their website (they are now). Honig has achieved the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) certification as well as Napa Green’s land and winery certification, a third party program founded in 2008. But Honig says he didn’t do it for marketing: “We did it for ourselves… we want to save the world and can’t save the world until we save our 70 acres.” He added, “A third party certification process is necessary since it lends more credibility. There’s a lot of suspicion for wineries who say they’re ‘green’ or ‘natural,’ but behind the curtain that may not be factual. Having someone unbiased judge your actions is very beneficial.“

Jon Ruel, CEO for Trefethen Vineyards also in Napa, has been certified in Napa Greensince almost the program’s inception. He explains their participation in this way: “For us, sustainability is core to how we run our business. Our land has been in farming since the 1800s and we want to continue farming for generations to come. Programs such as Napa Green and CSWA are helpful in providing growers and wineries like us with useful guidance and affirmation that we are on the right track.” On the marketing side of things, Ruel stated, “The idea that these certifications can serve for wine marketing is secondary. We want people to buy our wine because it is delicious and authentic. We farm sustainably so that we can keep making delicious wine for years to come. That said, there are some consumers and wine buyers in the trade that are looking for bottles that not only taste great, but feel great.”

Trefethen doesn’t list their certifications on their website or their labels, except in non-consumer, trade materials.

Sustainability for the Environment

With the growing concern for environmental concerns, feeling great is what many Americans seek these days. Some wine organizations are responding. In January 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced their commitment to becoming the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine region through a three-phased program to be completed by 2019. A survey they conducted revealed that 60 percent of respondents agreed that the quality of the wine mostly depends on the quality of the vineyard. And 38 percent stated that supporting sustainable agriculture is important to them.

The Sustainability Stigma

So is there is unspoken stigma surrounding organic that wineries are trying to avoid? Michael Honig admitted that there’s “a little bit of a political issue” surrounding sustainable or organic labeling and believes they shouldn’t broadcast it. Years ago, similar to the Kosher or boxed wine segment, perhaps wine consumers tried an organic wine and ran for the hills, never to return. Getting those consumers back into even the sustainable fold might be a challenge.

But one winery challenges this perceived stigma. Bonterra Organic Vineyards has been organically certified since 1993, and they’ve always touted their organic status on the label. Their Nielsen survey data indicates that 53 percent of consumers are likely to buy wine with organic credentials–-with 65 percent of those being millennials. As the number one wine in the organic category, their wine sales are up over 19 percent in the past year, backing up the Nielson data.

A Google search of “green certified wineries” reveals the following brands touting their sustainability certifications: Chateau Montelena, Hess Collection, CADE Winery, and Rodney Strong Vineyards. The other results are from the certification organizations themselves. So it appears the disconnect lies somewhere between the wineries’ marketing outreach and the consumers. It costs 10-15 percent more to farm a vineyard organically or sustainably—it’s more labor intensive (especially biodynamic agriculture) because it requires so much more attention to detail. But that begs the question… why aren’t more wineries announcing their efforts in a more direct manner? Whether LIVE certifiedLodi Rules, or anything else, naked harvesting by the light of the waning moon and pesticide-free farming could be the answer to more wine sales, if they’d let it.



Photo credit to: sheep and wine (; SCWA badge (, Napa Green (, organic winery (, Organic vineyard with goats (, and owl box (

Natural, Organic, Biodynamic, Sustainable: The Rise of Virtuous Wines
07 April, 2016


Back when I started writing about wine, some 15 years ago, biodynamic and organic wine was pretty rare. In 2002, I compiled a list of biodynamic vineyards for an article, and it was a short one. At this stage, there was no such thing as certified sustainable wine. And natural wine was a tiny, almost silent presence in the wine landscape. How things have changed!

The Rise of “Virtuous” Wine

The rise of virtuous wines—those made from vineyards that have been managed sustainably, and/or handled minimally in the winery—has been quite a remarkable one. But there has been a degree of separation between what happens in the vineyards and what goes on in the winery. So, theoretically, you could have a natural wine that is made from conventionally farmed grapes. It’s not common, but it does happen. And you can have beautifully grown biodynamic grapes subjected to a fairly brutal winemaking regime—as Jason Lett of Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon puts it so well, “some people are fairies in the vineyards and orcs in the cellars.”

And then there’s sustainability. While organics and biodynamics are a relatively small but growing niche, certified sustainable programs have been unrolled across large segments of the industry. For example, in New Zealand, the vast majority of the country’s vineyards are part of the NZ certified sustainable winegrowing scheme. This is an amazing achievement, and has resulted in a large reduction of chemical inputs to vineyards. While no other country has managed to get as much industry buy-in as New Zealand, there are other countries that have implemented official certification systems, such as South Africa, Chile, and Australia. The challenge for certified sustainable certifications is to have a system that is rigorous enough that it makes a real difference (and makes viticulture truly sustainable), without having such onerous and expensive requirements that it puts off winegrowers. Getting the balance right is difficult.

Organic, Biodynamic, and Natural

logo-biodyvinOrganics and biodynamics are quite closely related, in that biodynamic vineyards will meet the requirements of organic certification, but will also have some additional criteria that need satisfying. Many certification bodies exist for organics; for biodynamics there are two wine bodies offering this certification: Demeter (the main one) and Biodyvin. Certification can be expensive, so some winegrowers opt to implement biodynamic practices without becoming officially certified. Unlike the situation for food, there seems to be no premium attached to organic of biodynamic wine. Perhaps this is because many people assume that wine is a natural product and that vineyards are farmed in step with the environment. Biodynamics used to be seen as being a weird, fringe form of viticulture, but it now has so many celebrity estates employing it that it’s more-or-less respectable, even though some of its practices are a little unusual from a scientific perspective.

So what of natural wine? There is no definition yet for this growing category. This is a source of annoyance to many in the wine world: after all, by co-opting the term natural, the club of winegrowers who choose to align themselves under this banner are implying that there’s something unnatural about conventional wine. The difficulty of the position is further entrenched by the fact that many of the world’s leading wines would be classified as natural by any sensible definition of the word. This does seem to be a confusing situation. But despite this, and the frequent predictions that natural wine would be just a passing fad, it seems to have real traction. Natural wine fairs are flourishing, and from my experiences in the UK and Australia, they seem to attract large numbers of consumers, many of whom are in the age bracket (20s and 30s) that the traditional wine business is finding hard to connect with. For no other reason, this is a movement to be reckoned with.

Defining Natural Wine

 How can natural wine be defined? There’s a loose definition that’s far from unofficial, and it goes like this. First, it’s ideal if the grapes are organically or biodynamically farmed, although as I mentioned earlier, this isn’t always the case. Natural wine is more about what takes place in the winery. The general definition is to add as little as possible, and preferably nothing at all. No enzymes or nutrients or acid should be added. The only really permissible addition is a bit of sulfur dioxide, and if it’s added, it’s in small quantities just before bottling. Fermentations should be with the native yeasts, and malolactic, if it occurs, with naturally occurring bacteria. There should be no fining or filtration.

Sulfur dioxide seems to be a sticking point. The natural wine community has become a little obsessed with it. This preservative and defense against oxidation is produced naturally by yeasts during fermentation, and sometimes at levels that exceed 10 milligrams a liter, at which point the wine needs to be labeled “contains sulfites.” Certainly, wines made with no added sulfites can be really elegant and delicious, but some natural wine growers, untrusting of the conditions encountered in shipping their wines, add a bit at bottling. The late Beaujolais producer Marcel Lapierre used to do two separate bottlings: one with no sulfur dioxide added at all, and one with some at bottling to make the wine more stable for export. This tradition has been carried on by his children who now run the estate. Natural wine fairs such as RAW (London and Berlin) andRootstock (Sydney) now have the total sulfur dioxide level of each wine displayed in their catalogue. While this makes it clear to consumers which winegrowers are adding some, it also implies that lower levels of sulfur dioxide are better, which isn’t always the case. This fixation on sulfur dioxide can take away from giving proper attention to important issues such as how the grapes are farmed, which should be emphasized more in the natural wine movement.

Natural wine is thriving, but it can be a bit process-focused (do, or don’t do this, and your wine will be good), and it is quite exclusive (are you part of the club?). And even though it’s continuing to gain recruits, there are signs that we are now moving towards a post-natural wine era. Techniques used by natural winegrowers are being adopted by those who wouldn’t classify themselves as “natural,” and while wine lists would have previously been easy to divide into natural and conventional, there’s now more of a mixing. The boundaries between natural and conventional are beginning to seem a little blurred. This is a good thing: The occasionally extreme natural wine movement has had a positive impact on the rest of the wine industry and has prompted others to question what they are doing. A category of more authentic wines has emerged, made by those who are working more naturally, but who look at natural methods as a way to achieve an end—more authentic wines that better display their origin—than naturalness as an end in itself.

Photo credit: VinfolioRAW Fair, and Biodyvin.

by Jamie Goode  Trends

Raising the Bar: Truth in Wine Marketing
28 March, 2016

“It’s the oldest story ever told. The story of belief—of the basic, irresistible, universal human need to believe in something that gives life meaning, something that reaffirms our view of ourselves, the world, and our place in it.” ~Maria Konnikova, The Confidence Game

Honesty is not only the best policy, it’s a proven business tool. Skillfully wielded, truthful brand communication forges trust that keeps customers coming back for more. Mishandled, that same tool can cause irreversible damage. So how can wineries refine their stories to be more truthful?

Scandal recently broke around Mast Brothers, which touted itself as pioneers of small-batch, “bean to bar” chocolate. Customers shelled out $10 per bar on the false premise that they were buying a handmade product. In fact, the Brooklyn-based company had cast many of its chocolate bars from melted Valrhona.

Volkswagen, meanwhile, drew hordes of fans based largely on its promise of efficient engine performance. Yet in 2015, the EPA found Volkswagen intentionally cheating on emissions tests. “We have totally screwed up,” admitted Michael Horn, chief executive. No confession from an executive could temper the devastating financial consequences, not to mention the loss of consumer trust.

Is there a Mast Brothers or a Volkswagen of the wine world? We can’t say. We can say that consumers and industry members alike are paying attention, and are ready to hold companies accountable for their claims. Any winery message, then, must be consciously crafted with caution—and, of course, with truth.

What is the truth, anyway?

Transparency_New_GreenTo begin, let’s acknowledge that there is such a thing as being too honest. Whether as people or as companies, we select the most relevant details of any story to share with others. This article advocating for transparency, published by Poynter Institute, reminds us, “Only a fool would suggest that inner workings of any organization would ever be fully transparent. Yet, it’s heartening to see people being driven toward openness.”

What does it mean to tell the truth? The full truth entails more than simply avoiding lies:

Transparency: clearly communicating product and process.

Authenticity: delivering on promises.

Wineries have ample opportunity to be both transparent and authentic. A simple and powerful way to refine the truth of a brand’s story is simply by examining word choice—in print, online, and in speech.

Which words in particular deserve a closer look?

The “Winemaker” Interpreted

Unlikely as it may seem that a word as fundamental as “winemaker” could be fraught with confusion, somehow, it is. The winemaker is integral to any winery’s story, so making this term ring true could be considered a top priority.

At many wineries, the winemaker is exactly who you’d expect them to be—that person toiling away in the cellar with purple-stained hands, who may later pour you a glass with authority and enthusiasm. At other wineries, the “winemaker” is a more of a figurehead position, someone who writes checks and buys fruit, but never touches a barrel. This person claims the title of winemaker because, well, it’s their winery. (This might include celebrity winemakers.) Meanwhile, a quietly dedicated team member or consultant makes the wine without being publicly credited.

Does a title matter? If you want a straight story, then it probably does. The point here is not to place value judgment on any particular model—it is to be clear with the audience. When customers walk into a winery and ask who crafted the beverage they’re sipping, they deserve to know. (Chances are, it is not Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.)

While industry insiders know the title “winemaker” means different things in different companies, consumers are not savvy to this reality. Perhaps wineries owe their audience a clearer understanding of who controls their winemaking process. Increasing transparency can surely only make the company’s story more compelling.

Fruit Source

Great wine starts in the vineyard, it’s commonly claimed. Sure, but where is the vineyard, and how is it tended, and does the winemaker ever really spend any time there? When we talk about a fruit source, it’s vital that we speak transparently and authentically.

Let’s look at the term “Estate.” According to the TTB, wine that is “Estate-Bottled” must be 100 percent produced on property owned by the winery. Increasingly, though, wineries lease property that allows them to use the term “Estate-Bottled” without having significant connection to the land (or even having visited the property). In his book New California Wine, Jon Bonne devoted an entire chapter to “The Myth of the Estate.”

For those wineries that are site-based and fully dedicated to their estate property, the decimation of this term is disheartening. Peay Vineyards, which makes their home on the remote Sonoma Coast, recently penned an essay on the matter. Andy Peay writes:

There must be something about living on the vineyard throughout the year, daily walking the vineyard at all stages of growth, and making wine from the same vineyard across many varying vintages, that enables the estate winemaker to best capture the ineffable, yet distinct, voice of the vineyard. I think it has something to do with the estate winemaker’s slow accretion of knowledge about the unique quality of grapes grown at their site.

Also relevant to the fruit source is the equally tossed-around term “terroir.” Critics may eschew it for having little basis, while vintners like Peay and other leagues of passionate oenophiles defend it. Andy Peay continues,

Despite an inability to scientifically explain why a wine tastes the way it does based on its terroir… we all know terroir exists from our empirical experience. 

Whatever your stance on these particular words, it’s true that, by using them vaguely, we undermine their value. By using them responsibly, we honor their intended meaning, as well as our colleagues who uphold their true spirit.


The Dirty Work of Greenwashing

In the wine business, the opportunities for greenwashing—over-hyping a product’s environmental friendliness—is immense. From the vineyard to the cellar to the bottle and label, innumerable opportunities exist for a winery to either negatively or positively impact the environment. Some of these can be framed in a favorable way, when it comes time to market the wines.

Three commonly used (and abused) terms in winemaking are:

  • Biodynamic
  • Sustainable
  • Organic

A company using these terms can do so somewhat freely, with little oversight. Yet to earn the coveted “Certified Sustainable” or “Certified Organic” stamp of approval, issued only by accredited organizations, requires greater effort.

In Sonoma County, California, this is a hot topic on vintners’ minds. Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Winegrape Commission have partnered to create a three-phase program that will make Sonoma County the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine region. On the organization’s website, they have vowed to protect against false environmental claims:

To ensure against “greenwashing,” third-party verification and certification programs will be used such as the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance’s Code of Sustainability that involves 15 chapters and over 200 best practice assessments for growers and wineries, focused on environmental, social and economic viability and continuous improvement with verification by a third-party certifier.

Another critically-important factor to this initiative is transparency, which will be accomplished through regular progress updates, an annual Sonoma County Wine Region Sustainability Report Card and a vineyard and winery real-time tracker on the SCW website.

At least in Sonoma County, “sustainability” will soon be a difficult word to abuse. And no matter where a company is based, its claims of sustainable, biodynamic, or organic (certified or not) wine must be well documented.


A wine label is packed with information, some TTB-required and some added for flourish. When care is taken, both categories of information can be authentic, transparent, and (yes!) fully true.

Many words commonly used on wine labels (such as those below) lack a legal basis, which obfuscates their meaning.

  • Old Clone
  • Old Vine
  • Barrel Select
  • Heritage
  • Bottle-Aged
  • Select Harvest
  • Proprietor’s Blend
  • Balance

What is the purpose of such verbiage? Marketers might do well to choose carefully. If the intent is to create a sense that the wine is distinctive, there may be another, more concise way to do so. After all, while there is no implicit lie in these words, there is no real truth, either.

Who regulates truth in marketing?

As any industry insider knows, the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (TTB) is the main regulatory organization for the wine industry. The organization does provide a good deal of scrutiny to every wine label printed for commercial purposes. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission can and does provide some checks and balances to advertising. Other specific organizations, such as those mentioned in the “greenwashing” section of this article, are also working to provide oversight and regulation. Who else is responsible?

- Wineries (redux):

  • Manage customer perceptions with careful attention to some of the key verbiage outlined above.

  • Within the winery, communication is important, too. Use a company mission to get employees on the same page, so that the product produced is in sync with the product marketed.

  • Tailor product experiences (i.e. tours, tastings) so that customers can decide for themselves what they are drinking. They are the ultimate arbiter of “authentic.”

- Reviewers & Retailers: 

  • Do your homework on brands before celebrating, placing, or promoting them.

- Consumers: 

  • Know that wine, while inherently romantic, is business. You are being sold on a product, and it’s up to you to think critically about its contents.
  • Ask questions. Drink in the experience. Enjoy.

 by Amy Bess Cook


The Random Side of Premature Oxidation
16 July, 2015


Twenty years after the phenomenon started causing fear and frustration in so many fine wine collectors’ hearts, there is still no clear-cut answer, no single-bullet theory about the exact causes of the premature oxidation that affected so many bottles of top white Burgundy. The debate and the reasons that have come to the surface, however, do tell a cautionary tell that should be taken into account by all makers of white wine.

One of the main aspects of the “premox” crisis—and one of the reasons it was so feared by collectors of fine wine—is the random character of that premature oxidation. Why would one bottle be fine and the next from the same lot be decrepit and READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Nomacorc celebrates 15-years in business, 20 billion closures sold
12 January, 2015

Nomacorc, a leading producer of wine closures, achieved many milestones in 2014, including celebrating the company’s 15-year anniversary in business and more than 20 billion closures sold. Longtime customer Ken Wright’s 2012 Abbott Claim Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton District, 97 points, $65) was named Wine Enthusiast’s No. 1 wine of 2014. Originally conceived as an entrepreneur’s solution to cork taint and bottle variation, Nomacorc has grown to be one of the largest still wine closure manufacturers in the world. Since its inception, the company has established four facilities, most recently in San Juan, Argentina, and has produced and sold more than 20 billion wine closures.

“Inspired by our founder Marc Noël’s quest to improve wine quality and prevent unnecessary wine waste, Nomacorc has grown steadily and we’ve expanded our product and service offerings to give winemakers tools they’ve never had before,” said Lars von Kantzow, president and CEO of Nomacorc since 2006. “In our short history, we’ve already contributed to changing the way the wine industry thinks about oxygen in wine development and the significance that closure choice has to overall wine quality.”

Award-winning French winery Michel Gassier bottled its 2013 Les Cépages Vigonier with Nomacorc’s 20 billionth milestone cork. “Nomacorc’s success is clearly demonstrated by their responsiveness to clients’ input and dedication to service,” said fourth generation winemaker Michel Gassier.

This year marked an important milestone not only in terms of growth but also in innovation. Over the past twelve months, Nomacorc received recognition and accolades for its new plant-based, zero carbon wine closure, Select Bio®. These honors included:

 Wine Industry Network WINovation award – Co-hosted by the North Bay Business Journal in California and the Wine Industry Network, the WINovation award honors companies that contribute to the advancement of the North American wine industry.

 Inspiration Packaging Awards Eco-Premio (Eco Prize) – Held in Madrid, Spain, the Inspirational Packaging Awards celebrates the best in design and innovation across the international packaging and POS market. The Eco-Premio award selects the best eco-innovation in the field of waste management and materials.

 The Drinks Business Green Awards “Best Green Launch” – As the world’s largest program to raise awareness of green issues in the drinks trade, The Drinks Business Green Award recognizes companies who are leading the way in sustainability and environmental performance. The “Best Green Launch” award honors a product that promotes an environmentally-friendly cause and clearly demonstrates its sustainable benefits.

“We are thrilled about the overwhelmingly positive response we have received this year from about our new Select Bio plant-based cork,” said Dr. Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc’s principal scientist. “This can be directly attributed to our ongoing goal of innovation and technological excellence, and we look forward to providing even more sustainable solutions for wineries in the future.”

Earlier this year, leading Italian association Vino Libero, a 13-member wine and spirits organization focused on environmental sustainability announced an exclusive partnership agreement with Nomacorc’s Select Bio zero carbon footprint wine closure. In the near future, Vino Libero wines closed with Select Bio will be found at Eataly concepts around the world along with premium wine shops and restaurants that subscribe to the Vino Libero business philosophy.

“As an industry focused around farming and ecology, we see more and more wineries seeking reliable tools and materials that are also sustainable,” continued Dr. Aagaard. “Our Select Bio cork is the complete package, as it provides both high-quality and environmental benefits into an innovative packaging solution.”

To end the year on a high note, Nomacorc-closed Ken Wright 2012 Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton District, 97 points, $65) was selected as the No. 1 pick in Wine Enthusiast’s 2014 Enthusiast 100. The wine was awarded the highest honor by Wine Enthusiast’s tasting panel, which reviewed more than 17,500 wines from around the globe, covering myriad regions, styles, and prices. Ken Wright has entrusted his critically-acclaimed, special-release library wines to Nomacorc for more than 10 years.

“Being named Wine Enthusiast’s top wine of 2014 is an outstanding achievement,” said von Kantzow. “We are extremely proud to be a part of his delicious, hand-crafted wines.”

To learn more about Nomacorc and its portfolio of engineered wine closures, please visit

Go Big or Go Home: Thoughts about Tannin Structures and Oxygen Resistance in Red Wines
08 December, 2014

There are a number of complementary factors – and perhaps almost as many competing theories – about what makes a red wine resistant to oxygen, meaning how well and how long it will keep its aromatic profile after the bottle is opened, or how long it will keep when it is laid down in the cellar. While there is no magic bullet or single determining factor, certain elements are seen as more important than others, notably acidity and phenolics.


Since aging wine is essentially a process of slow oxidation, it seems important to make sure all the necessary elements are present in sufficient amounts to slow down that process as much as possible – at least, when trying to make a vin de garde, made for longer-term aging. However, what are sufficient amounts of these components and how do they interplay? The answers are quite complex, and there are examples that defy expectations.


For instance, it could be assumed that a lower pH and higher acidity would be an indispensable element in ensuring that a wine can age for many years if not decades. But some wines run contrary to that expectation.


“Take the 1947 Cheval Blanc, for instance”, points out Jean Hoefliger, winemaker at Alpha Omega in Napa and Monteverro, in Tuscany, who has also made wine in Bordeaux and in his native Switzerland. “It’s from a very hot year, the pH is somewhere around 3.9, so the acid is low and it was made from very ripe grapes. Yet it’s seen as one of the best ones ever made, and by all reports, it is still tasting fine to this day.”


Of course, this is a bit of reasoning through extremes: a 47 Cheval Blanc is the exception, not the rule. Not all ultra-ripe wines at a pH close to 4 will be able to keep going for over 60 years.


Hoefliger recognizes that the acidity level is an important part of a well-structured wine made for aging, generally speaking, but he argues that it may not be quite as important when other conditions are present, in a way that can compensate for lower acid. “Alcohol levels and especially tannins play a very big role as well. In Napa, I don’t need acidity in the wines in the same way that I did in Switzerland, for instance, because I have these enormous tannin structures.”


When a wine is in contact with oxygen, the so-called “oxydation cascade” starts, eventually leading to obvious oxidation.  Tannins and other phenolic coTanninsPost_RedWinemponents like anthocyanins  are rapidly involved in this series of reactions – in certain ways “intercepting” the oxygen before it can affect other elements in the wine. Therefore having higher amounts of those components would logically mean more oxygen resistance, just because of quantity. But there are other factors at work, like the type of tannins and phenolic compounds. And here again, oxygen is a key element. Just as an example, when tannins and anthocyanins react together in the presence of oxygen, wine color becomes more stable during aging, another key feature of long-lasting wines. While the general interactions are understood, the specific mechanisms that make this possible in an individual wine remain largely unknown, as far as chemical reactions and interactions go. Why does it remain so mysterious? First of all, phenolic compounds interact with a mind-bogglingly high number of different compounds, and bind – and sometimes recombine – differently under various conditions involving pH, the presence or absence of oxygen, the length of polymer chains (which can vary over time) and the types of tannins (from stems, skins or seeds or even oak).


Vinification methods can also intervene. Aging a red wine in barrel, for instance, will not only introduce a certain amount of oxygen in the reactions, influencing the formation of polymer chains in many components, but also introduce aldehydes from the toasted wood, which will modify the way the polymer chains build themselves.


Micro-oxygenation is also known to have a great influence on the way tannins form – and how they feel on tasting. The debate on the effects of micro-ox on the aging potential of a wine, on the other hand, is still raging in winemaking circles.


More recently, a number of studies have also shown that by using closures allowing defined oxygen ingress, wine tannin profile can actually be further ‘sculpted’ in the bottle, so that the winemaking process can actually continue post-bottling.




In any case, phenolics and tannins should be carefully taken into account, as well as their interaction with oxygen during winemaking and their effects on long-term oxygen resistance in a finished wine. Whether you are making a red wine accessible for short-term drinking or a cuvée for the ages, they are a key element in the wine’s personality and style.

About the Author

Rémy Charest is a Quebec City-based journalist, writer, and translator. He has been writing about wine and food since 1997 in various Canadian and American print and online publications Le Devoir, Le Soleil, Coup de Pouce, EnRoute, Palate Press, Punch Drink, WineAlign and Châtelaine, and has been a regular radio columnist for Montreal's CJAD and CBC/Radio-Canada. He is also a wine judge on national and international wine competitions, notably the National Wine Awards of Canada and the World Wine Awards of Canada organized by WineAlign.

Rémy Charest Photo Credit: Jason Dziver

Recycling Recap: Which Wine Closures Are Recyclable?
05 November, 2014

Wine bottles have a clear path to the afterlife. After the wine’s been poured and the toasts have been raised, the empty bottles go to recycling centers where they’re sorted by color, crushed into small pieces known as cullet, and sent on to become new bottles and glasses or turned into building materials and more.


The corks and caps that top off those bottles, on the other hand, have a more complicated route to salvage salvation.


Here’s a rundown on the pluses and minuses of closure types and what can be done to keep them out of landfills.


Continue reading here!

Six common wine faults and tips on how to identify them
21 October, 2014

What it is: Brett is short for Brettanomyces, a type of yeast that frequents wineries—it likes the phenols that make up red wine—imparting an earthy aroma to the wines it comes in contact with. This is one of the trickier flaws since some people enjoy a touch of Brett, and there are wineries that work with the quality rather than fight it.

How to spot it: Most commonly heralded by a smell of barnyard or Band-Aids. Dr. Linda Bisson and her colleagues at the University of California, Davis, have tested dozens of strains of Brett and discovered that about a quarter of them add good flavors, including meaty, floral, and fruity notes. At the other end of the scale, though, it can add notes of rotten meat, sewer gas, and burnt beans. A hint of leather or bacon might not be a bad thing. A full-on hit of dog park probably means it’s time to send the bottle back.



What it is: This flaw is just as it sounds: The wine has been allowed to overheat. In the process it’s either lost some of its “oomph” or become flat-out stewed tasting, like over-brewed tea. This can be caused by a number of factors, like sitting on a loading dock in 80-degree temperatures, or being stored in a basement right next to the water heater. Most wineries try to avoid cooking their wines by not shipping in the summer or by using package inserts that register when temperatures go above tolerance levels. But overall, the average consumer is still pretty much at the mercy of suppliers.

How to spot it: Sometimes it’s easy. The cork might stick out from the neck of the bottle slightly, having been forced out as contents heated and expanded. Other signs include streaky wine stains on the sides of the cork. If the damage is not severe—cooked all the way—you might simply detect raisin-y, stewed fruit aromas in the wine.


What it is: A big problem and one that’s also easily misunderstood. After all, aren’t most wines corked—as in sealed with a cork? When used to describe a flaw, however, “corked” means that the wine has come into contact with a chemical known as TCA (short for 2,4,6-trichloranisole). This chemical typically forms when natural fungi come into contact with chlorophenols in plant matter. Exposure to TCA is harmless at low levels, but it will wreak havoc on wine. Although it can contaminate barrels and bottling lines, it is most closely associated with use of natural cork. Estimates vary on the amount of contamination exists today in the global supply of cork stoppers. The commonly quoted figure is 3 percent, although other estimates are higher.

How to spot it: Despite what you may have seen in old movies, you’re not going to detect cork taint from sniffing the cork. It also has nothing to do with little pieces of cork that crumble into the wine. You’ll detect it by sniffing the wine and noticing a smell like wet, musty newspapers, wet cardboard, or moldy basement. It doesn’t take a lot of TCA to make an impact; most people can smell it at 10 parts per trillion. (For reference, one part per trillion is like mixing one drop of red dye into 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.) Different people do have different sensitivities to TCA, though, so what reeks to one person might smell just slightly suspect to another. What really scares winemakers is that in lower concentrations you don’t find the telltale note of damp basement but are left with a wine that simply tastes a little off or muted. Those customers wouldn’t bring back the bottle—but they probably won’t buy another, either.


What it is: This is another of those good news, bad news issues. Oxidation is the type of spoilage that happens when you cut up fruit and leave it out on your kitchen counter. Some wines are improved by oxidation, and in fact their style is meant to be oxidized—think Madeira and Sherry. Also, older wines are pleasantly transformed by the tiny bit of oxygen that has passed through the cork during long storage and bottle age. But a fresh, crisp wine like a young Sauvignon Blanc will definitely suffer if it has gotten too much air.

How to spot it: This is where the eyes have it; color is a common tip-off to oxidization. Vivid reds turn brick-red or brown; whites darken to amber or gold-brown. In terms of aroma, white wines can smell like apple cider or Sherry. Red wines will smell flat and sometimes have a caramel quality.


What it is: This is the flip side of oxidation; the wine hasn’t gotten enough exposure to oxygen during its production and cellar and bottle aging, usually due to winemaking techniques aimed at reducing oxidation flaws.

How to spot it: A reduced wine gives off an odor of sulfur, like burnt rubber or rotten eggs. It can sometimes be fixed by decanting, and thus aerating, the wine. Another trick to ameliorate a reduced wine is to drop a small piece of copper, even a (clean!) pre-1980s penny, into the wine. The copper latches onto the sulfur molecules and makes them unavailable to your nose and tongue.


What it is: Volatile acid, known as VA, occurs naturally in wine and is usually caused when bacteria create acetic acid, the substance that gives vinegar its characteristic flavor. In small quantities it’s not a problem. But if particularly virulent bacteria take hold and the VA gets out of control—watch out.

How to spot it: You stick your nose in the glass expecting to smell wine. You get a sharp whiff of vinegar or acetone. Often the wine will also taste like vinegar.


Here’s one more very common weird thing that can happen to wine: Sometimes crystals will accumulate in the bottom of a bottle that has rested in the refrigerator for a day or two. These crystals form when potassium and tartaric acid naturally occurring in the wine combine and sink out of solution. A good winemaker will stabilize the wine so it’ll withstand typical refrigeration temperatures without forming these crystals. But if it does happen, don’t worry. This flaw is harmless—and happily, it’s one that won’t affect wine’s taste.

About the Author

Michelle Locke is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay area who writes about food, drink and travel. Her stories appear in newspapers across the country and she is a columnist for the wine website Palate Press. She blogs at

Entwine Launches 100 Percent Consumer Guarantee Program With Nomacorc
14 October, 2014









New Program Offers Confidence to Consumers and Trade for Fault-Free Wine


LIVERMORE, Calif., and ZEBULON, N.C. (September 16, 2014) entwine, a California wine portfolio from Wente Vineyards, the oldest continuously-operated family-owned winery in America, today launched a 100% Money Back Guarantee program. In collaboration with Nomacorc, the world’s leading producer of high-tech wine corks, the 100% Money Back Guarantee program ensures that all consumers who purchase a bottle of entwine wine will enjoy every sip or they will get their money back.


The 100% Money Back Guarantee program is driven by entwine’s new smart closure, Nomacorc Select® Series, which eliminates the risk of wine faults, including cork taint, oxidation and reduction, and ensures consistency from bottle to bottle. In addition, Nomacorc closures are fully recyclable and do not break or crumble when removed from the bottle.


“The switch to Nomacorc wine closures allows us to be more confident in guaranteeing customer satisfaction and ensuring that all entwine wines are expressed the way our winemaking team intended,” said Karl Wente, fifth generation winemaker at Wente Vineyards. “This new partnership will help maintain Wente’s long tradition of producing high-quality wines.”


Initially inspired to make food and wine pairing more approachable, entwine offers a portfolio of food-friendly, high-quality wines in partnership with Food Network. The portfolio consists of four varietal wines: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, each with its own distinct personality and flavor. Working with Food Network Kitchen, all entwine wines come with a diverse menu of food pairing possibilities ranging from comfort foods like macaroni and cheese to show-stopping recipes created by Food Network Kitchens.


entwine is a brand that is backed by exceptional quality and a strong passion for expressing a wine’s vibrant aromas and flavors,” said Lars von Kantzow, president and CEO of Nomacorc. “These same values are intrinsic to Nomacorc and our products. Our company’s entire reason for being is to offer consumers the chance to enjoy wine without worry.”


Beginning in October, all entwine wines will come with a 100% Money Back Guarantee, promoted through in-store point-of-sale. If a consumer is dissatisfied with his/her entwine wine purchase, they can submit their claim to the winery for reimbursement of the purchased wine as permitted by state law. The guarantee will be offered through October 2015.


“In a crowded retail environment where thousands of wines are available, the 100% Money Back Guarantee program offers added assurance to consumers that our wines will taste exactly as we intend,” continued Wente.


For more information about where to purchase entwine, along with wine and food pairing suggestions, visit

To learn more about Nomacorc wine closures, visit


About Nomacorc

Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With nearly 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).


About Wente Vineyards

Founded in 1883, Wente Family Estates is the oldest continuously-operated family-owned winery in the country, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. The winery draws from nearly 3,000 acres of Estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding portfolio of fine wines. Wente Vineyards is distributed in all 50 states and in over 70 countries worldwide. In 2010, Wente Vineyards was among the first wineries to receive the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing designation, and one of the only wineries to certify every aspect of its business. In 2011, Wente Family Estates was named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and a top 30 wine company by Wine Business Monthly. The year 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the Wente family bringing Chardonnay cuttings to California. Today the Wente clone of Chardonnay is the most widely planted in California. This year, the winery celebrates its 130th vintage.

Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations. The property features wine tasting, world-class concerts, award-winning fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit


About Food Network 

FOOD NETWORK ( is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.45 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (, DIY Network ( ), Great American Country (, HGTV (, and Travel Channel (,  is the manager and general partner.


Contacts: Katie Myers



Whitney Rigsbee



Heather Everett, Wente Family Estates





The Carbon Neutral Cork by Nomacorc, 100% Recyclable & Renewable
12 September, 2014

Azienda Agricola Ciccio Zaccagnini has become the first wine producer importing into Australia to adopt wholesale use of the Nomacorc carbon neutral Select Bio closure.

The closures are 100% recyclable and renewable, and are made from plant-based polymers derived from sugar cane.

“Essentially, it is an engineered cork that is also bio-based, and is an almost perfect solution for closing wine,” said Marcello Zaccagnini, owner of Azienda Zaccagnini.

 “We wanted a closure for our wines that pushed us further towards becoming carbon neutral, that let the wine breathe, and still allowed for the charm of cork extraction,” says Zaccagnini. “But most importantly, as a producer of three million bottles a year, we wanted to eliminate cork taint problems that could affect the quality of up to 10% of our stock.”

In order to find a sustainable closure that met the company’s needs, Zaccagnini winemaker Concenzio Marulli launched a research project in collaboration with Antonella Bosso from the Centro di Ricerca per l'Enologia1 in Asti. Over a period of 18 months, they studied the evolution of wine with different kinds of closures: natural cork, screw cap, and Nomacorc.

Marulli said “Quite simply, we saw the best results with Nomacorc. The ability to choose from one of three styles of Select Bio closures – each with different oxygen ingress levels – gives us the power to fine-tune the consistent delivery of the right amount of oxygen to our wines.”

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Avalon Winery First in U.S. to Use Nomacorc's New Plant-Based Closure
21 August, 2014

Nomacorc one of the world’s leading producers of wine closures, is pleased to announce that Sonoma County-based Avalon Winery as the first United States winery to use Nomacorc’s new plant-based Select® Bio, a zero carbon footprint wine closure. This sustainable closure, made with renewable, plant-based biopolymers derived from sugar cane, will be used in Avalon’s wines, beginning with the 2012 vintage of their flagship California “CAB.”
Avalon, a respected wine brand that specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon, is dedicated to delivering quality-driven wines with great value.  In addition to quality, the company places a strong emphasis on sustainability. Located on the site of a historic apple cannery, the Avalon Winery has led the industry with many environmentally sustainable practices, including the first-of-its-kind 232kw solar cogeneration system installed in 2010, rainwater catchment and diversion to safeguard the nearby Graton salmon spawning reserve, water efficiency upgrades and careful carbon management.
“We’ve striven to minimize our carbon footprint in all that we do - in the winery, in the vineyard and in our community,” said Lisa Ehrlich, Executive Vice President, Marketing of Purple Wine Company.  “Our next step was to implement sustainable solutions and practices into our packaging.  Nomacorc’s Select Bio closure is a perfect choice for our California CAB as it combines quality performance and environmental benefits,” continued Ehrlich.
As the first U.S. winery to use Select Bio, Avalon hopes to set an example for other wineries seeking more environmentally friendly packaging solutions. Lars von Kantzow, President and CEO of Nomacorc stated, “Avalon is a very well-respected winery that provides quality Cabernet Sauvignon at a value that consumers can enjoy often. We are proud they are the first U.S.-based Select Bio customer and applaud their leadership in winemaking and sustainability, paving the way for other sustainability-focused wineries.”
Nomacorc’s Select Bio closure is the world’s first zero carbon footprint wine closure. It mirrors the same oxygen management performance as Nomacorc’s innovative Select Series closures, which can precisely control the oxygen transmission through the closure and help prevent oxygen-related wine faults, such as oxidation and reduction. In addition, Select Bio, like all Nomacorc closures, is fully recyclable (Resin Identification Code 4) and is TCA-free.
“Since its inception, Nomacorc has been focused on creating better wine closures that protect wine and improve overall quality,” said Dr. Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc’s principal scientist. “Select Bio is a true reflection of our drive for innovation, and we are excited to offer wineries a closure that is both reliable and sustainable,” continued Aagaard.
Sourced from grapes grown in selected vineyards throughout California (including Napa Valley, Lodi, and Paso Robles), the 2012 Avalon CAB is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Syrah, 7% Zinfandel and 4% Merlot. Avalon CAB is nationally distributed at a suggested retail price of $12.
Bottling with Select Bio closures will begin in July and by years-end, all Avalon CAB wines will contain Nomacorc’s Select Bio plant-based closure. The closure, which was recently awarded Best Green Launch at The Drinks Business Green Awards, is now commercially available in both the United States and in Europe.  
For more information on Select Bio and its carbon credentials, visit
About Nomacorc
Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With nearly 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc onTwitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).
About Avalon Winery
Avalon Winery, located in the town of Graton in Sonoma County, California, produces top selling wines recognized for outstanding quality and food friendly style. Avalon specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon including a Napa Valley bottling and the winery’s flagship California “CAB” Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are part of the Purple Wine Company portfolio of brands that include: Four Vines, BEX, Cryptic and Alto Cinco. Avalon was recently named a "Hot Prospect" brand by M. Shanken’s Impact Newsletter for 2012, tracking the most promising wine and spirits growth brands in the marketplace. For more information, visit or like Avalon on Facebook.

Media Contacts:

Katie Myers
Whitney Rigsbee


Holly Evans, Avalon

London Green Awards - Nomacorc Receives Best Green Launch Award
25 June, 2014

 Nomacorc, one of the world’s leading producers of wine closures, was awarded the Best Green Launch in The Drinks Business’ annual Green Awards held April 30th in London. The Best Green Launch honor recognizes a product that promotes an environmentally-friendly cause and clearly demonstrates its sustainable benefits.  Nomacorc received the award for its Select® Bio closure, the world’s first zero carbon footprint wine closure.
Nomacorc’s Select Bio closure, which also received the New Technology award at the SIMEI-ENOVITIS tradeshow in Italy last November, is made using renewable, plant-based biopolymers derived from sugar cane. The closures mirror Nomacorc’s current Select® Series portfolio in oxygen management performance, and can help minimize the environmental impact of wines by preventing spoilage and waste from cork taint and oxygen-related wine faults, such as oxidation and reduction. In addition, Select Bio closures are fully recyclable and do not contain any glue or adhesives.
Nomacorc’s Richard Teply, general manager for Europe, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf, stated, “Since the launch of Select Bio, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the trade and wineries seeking a more sustainable and reliable packaging solution. We are honored to be recognized for our hard work in developing the world’s first zero carbon wine closure and our continued progress in innovation and sustainability.”
Dr. Olav Aagaard, principal scientist at Nomacorc, added, “Our Select Bio carbon neutral wine closure is truly a unique product. It not only performs consistently but is the first wine closure created from plant-based biopolymers, ensuring that wineries have the optimum sustainable packaging solution for their wines.”
The Drinks Business Green Awards is the world’s largest program to raise awareness of green issues in the drinks trade and recognizes companies who are leading the way in sustainability and environmental performance. Winners are judged by an independent panel of sustainability and drinks experts. Nomacorc is the first alternative closure manufacturer to receive this honor.
To read the full list of winners from the Green Awards, visit
To learn more about Nomacorc’s Select Bio closure, including its carbon footprint assessment, visit 
About Nomacorc
Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With nearly 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc onTwitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).

Nomacorc Featured on the Hit T.V. Show, "How it's Made"
15 May, 2014

Nomacorc, the largest producer of synthetic wine closures, will be featured on the hit T.V. show How It’s Made on May 15th, on Discovery’s Science channel at 9 p.m. EST. How It’s Made explores common, everyday items and offers viewers a first-hand look at how they are manufactured.  Thursday night’s show will take a deeper look into Nomacorc’s unique co-extrusion technology, which allows the company to produce more than 7 million synthetic closures per day.

To check the T.V. scheduling, visit:


Nomacorc and Vino Libero establish partnership agreement to improve wine quality with a strong focus on sustainability
08 April, 2014

VINO LIBERO INITIATES agreement with NOMACORC, world leader in wine closures, at Vinitaly

VERONA, ITALY (April 7, 2014) – Nomacorc, a leading producer of wine closures, and Vino Libero, an association of 12 important Italian wine producers and one distillery, have established a partnership agreement to improve wine quality and promote their products with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. Select Bio, the first wine closure with zero carbon footprint, is 100% recyclable and made with renewable biopolymer materials derived from sugar cane. The Select Bio closure also reduces wine waste resulting from cork taint or oxygen mismanagement issues like oxidation and reduction.         

"The Vino Libero project is focused on the environment and the health of the consumer, both in the vineyards and in the cellar,” said Andrea Macchione, CEO of Fontanafredda, one of Italy’s oldest and most respected wineries in Piemonte, and CEO of the Vino Libero alliance. “This collaboration stems from the desire of both Vino Libero and Nomacorc to constantly innovate and be at the forefront of new opportunities and projects.”

“Both companies know that the wine market in the future will bring more and more carefully educated, prepared consumers who demand excellence in their wines,” said Macchione.

Vino Libero wines are free from synthetic fertilizers (wineries only use natural organic fertilizers), free from herbicides (land is maintained according to traditional practices) and free from high sulphite levels (wines contain at least 40% less sulphites than the limit established by law).

Macchione continued: “Partnering with Nomacorc has allowed us to take another important step toward our ambitious goal of ridding wine from anything and everything that may negatively interfere with wine quality, in order to rediscover the intrinsic and authentic values of wine. Nomacorc Select Bio closures, therefore, are perfect for our wineries seeking cutting-edge technology and environmental awareness.”

"We are proud to partner with the prestigious group of Vino Libero producers,” said Lars von Kantzow, president and CEO of Nomacorc. “We share a belief that the production of great wines should happen with respect for the environment. Select Bio, the first zero CO2 emissions closure in the world, is our natural point of union.

“With Select Bio, we can guarantee that there will be no wasted wine due to closure fault – a devastating environmental impact – and that consumers will enjoy their favorite wines as they have been designed by the winemakers, through proper management of the oxygen in the bottle,” continued von Kantzow.

Vinitaly is the official launch of the Vino Libero and Nomacorc partnership, after which wineries will begin to use Select Bio in 2014 bottling’s. More information about Nomacorc Select Bio can be found at

About Vino Libero

The Association brings together 12 VINO LIBERO winemakers and one distillery from eight different Italian regions, from Piedmont to Sicily, engaged as one in team to apply a model of sustainable agriculture that is both economically viable, environmentally and socially correct. The agriculture of VINO LIBERO breaks down the divisions between the different models of cultivation and that is a new one, better suited to the needs of producers and consumers. It is a model "dynamic" that is continually enriched by new arguments, which promotes research and it is constantly improving, but focuses firmly on its goals of environmental protection, consumer protection and satisfaction of the manufacturer. All member companies take decisions that favor the cultivation of the natural processes that preserve the "resource environment," avoiding resorting to practices harmful to the soil and minimizing the use of chemicals.


Press office:

Chiara Destefanis                                            Francesca Tablino Possio

+39 342 6696519                                            +39 333 4799195                


About Nomacorc

Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With nearly 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).


Press Office:

Katie Myers                                                    Whitney Rigsbee

+1-214-766-4566                                            +1-919-460-2274                        



02 July, 2013

Nomacorc Launches Next Generation NomaSense Oxygen Analyzer for Wine Industry

ZEBULON, N.C. (July 1, 2013) –Nomacorc, the world’s largest producer of alternative wine closures and leader in oxygen management technology, announced today the launch of its breakthrough next generation NomaSense oxygen analyzer system. The new NomaSense offering is the first portable Total Package Oxygen (TPO) meter designed specifically for the wine industry and allows users to measure and control the total amount of oxygen in wine, particularly during bottling. 

Nomacorc continues to serve as an important partner to wineries and academic institutions across the globe,” said Malcolm Thompson, vice president of innovation and strategy at Nomacorc. “By developing a sophisticated, easy-to-use analyzer, we hope to provide more winemakers with the proper tools to manage oxygen pick-up at bottling and deliver wines just as they intend.”

In this latest NomaSense innovation, wineries can measure both head space and dissolved oxygen using an integrated conversion calculator to determine the TPO. The NomaSense O2 P300 has a limit of detection of 15 parts per billion (ppb) and is intended for use throughout the winemaking process – most importantly at the bottling line – to improve quality control. The more sensitive NomaSense O2 P6000 has a lower detection limit of 1 part per billion and can also serve as a quality control tool, but is more specifically for laboratory use and scientific study.

The ability to measure and manage oxygen is critical to ensuring wine quality and extending the shelf-life potential of wines,” said Dr. Stéphane Vidal, global director of enology at Nomacorc. “The substantive enhancements to the NomaSense product line allow wineries to improve wine quality and help achieve bottle-to-bottle consistency.”

Improvements to the device were based on feedback from initial users, making the device well-adapted to winery environments. Other features and benefits include an improved user-friendly software interface with easier navigation, as well as enhanced data and file management systems for better traceability. The new devices also make sample identification easier via a QR code reader. Last but not least, the high-tech portable device has a sleek appearance and is significantly smaller in size compared to the original NomaSense analyzer – all while being more affordable.

Compatible with existing accessories and consumables, the NomaSense O2 P6000 and NomaSense O2 P300 is commercially available in July 2013.

For more information about Nomacorc’s NomaSense oxygen analyzer equipment, visit

About Nomacorc

Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).



25 April, 2013

First Plant-Based Closure Will Be Ready For 2014 Bottling Season 

ZEBULON, N.C. (April 24, 2013) – Nomacorc, the leading producer of alternative wine closures, today introduced the world’s first zero carbon footprint wine closure, Select® Bio. Made with plant-based polymers derived from sugar cane, Select Bio will be first presented to the industry during the Intervitis Interfructa trade show April 24 – 27, 2013 in the Stuttgart Messe in Germany.

Engineered to be the best closure solution for sustainable wineries and their wines, Select Bio closures will be 100 percent recyclable and made using renewable, plant-based materials. The closures will mirror Nomacorc’s current Select® Series portfolio in oxygen management performance. As with other Select Series products, Select Bio will minimize the environmental impact of wines by preventing spoilage and waste from wine faults such as oxidation and reduction. By consistently delivering the right amount of oxygen into the bottle using a carbon neutral closure, sustainability-minded wineries will now be able to deliver their wines just as they intend. 

“Select Bio is an exciting milestone in Nomacorc’s long history of industry-leading research and innovation,” said Lars von Kantzow, president & CEO, Nomacorc LLC. “Not only are we able to serve wineries seeking a more reliable and sustainable packaging solution, but we can reduce our overall corporate carbon footprint while taking an important first step towards our goal of minimizing the use of fossil-based energy and materials across our entire range of products.”

Select Bio is especially well-suited for organic and biodynamic wines that minimize the use of sulfites for wine preservation. Through Nomacorc’s patented co-extrusion process, Select Bio has the ability to control oxygen ingress, reducing a wine’s susceptibility to spoilage due to oxygen mismanagement while improving post-bottle aging and bottle-to-bottle consistency. Select Bio’s plant-based polymers are derived from sugar cane, which, due to its renewable nature, contributes a negative carbon footprint value. Incorporating these polymers into Nomacorc’s formulation fully offsets positive emissions originating from conventional raw materials in the product, resulting in closures having a zero carbon footprint.

“The use of plant-based materials provides extra benefits to the already strong performance of Nomacorc closures in end-of-life disposal scenarios, including recycling and incineration,” said Dr. Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc’s principal scientist. “So when evaluating a closure’s carbon footprint, its susceptibility to spoiling wine and the environmental impact of end-of-life disposal, Select Bio is clearly the only solution that fully addresses all three aspects of the closure’s life cycle.”

The Select Bio Series will include three distinct products, each with different oxygen ingress levels. It will have the same look and feel as the traditional Select Series including serrated ends, chamfered edges, custom side printing and optional custom end-printing. The Select Bio Series will be offered for bottling trials with a select group of Nomacorc customers following the Intervitis wine fair. The full portfolio will be commercially available for the 2014 bottling season.

For more information about Nomacorc’s sustainable progress and objectives visit

About Nomacorc

Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).




FREE Oxygen & Wine Quality Seminar Will Offer Practical Solutions
19 February, 2013

At the inaugural Wine Science Forum, leading internationally-recognized experts will discuss how to manage oxygen to improve wine quality, collectively outlining practical solutions to assist winemakers in their quest to optimize their wines.

The forum will be led by five keynote speakers including Dr. Andrew Waterhouse from UC Davis and Professor James Kennedy from Fresno State University.


When: March 11, 2013 - Where: Napa - Time: 12pm to 5pm

For details and to sign up visit:

18 September, 2012

ZEBULON, N.C. (September 10, 2012) – Nomacorc, the world’s largest producer of synthetic wine closures, has initiated new research projects with three world-renowned academic institutions. The programs will be performed at DLR Rheinpfalz in Germany, Centro Ricerca e Innovazione (CRI) in Italy, and the University of Zaragoza in Spain and will contribute to the ever-growing database that Nomacorc has built to evaluate oxygen’s role in wine development and winemaking processes. In conjunction with ongoing programs at the Geisenheim Institute in Germany and Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile, these new research initiatives are expected to broaden Nomacorc’s knowledge on wine and oxygen interactions.
The program at DLR Rheinpfalz, a technical university based in Neustadt, Germany, will be led by Professor Ulrich (Uli) Fischer, manager of the university’s enology department and specialist in sensory science. The project will focus on the influence of winemaking technology and oxygen exposure on the sensory and chemical composition of the Pinot Noir wine variety, before and after bottling.   

CRI is part of Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM), a public research institution based in San Michele all’Adige, Italy. CRI has experience working with the Italian wine industry in areas of study including agricultural science, nutrition, and the environment. In addition, CRI is involved in major international initiatives including the Grape Metabolome project. The Nomacorc program will be led by Dr. Fulvio Mattivi, who manages CRI’s analytical chemistry facility, and will focus on the key factors influencing the responsiveness of different wine varieties to oxygen.
The University of Zaragoza’s Laboratorio de Análisis de Aroma y Enología (Aroma and Enology Analysis Laboratory) in Spain is one of the world’s most highly-regarded research groups in the area of wine aroma composition. The program will be led by Professor Vicente Ferreira and will focus on the factors responsible for wine aroma associated with oxidation.
“With the addition of these institutions to our extraordinary research network, we will continue to build upon our understanding of the relationship between oxygen, wine chemistry and wine sensory characteristics,” said Dr. Maurizio Ugliano, enological research manager for Nomacorc. “The knowledge we obtain gets channeled into product development, our partnerships with winemakers, and ultimately, help improve the winemaker’s control of wine development and quality after bottling.”
To date, Nomacorc’s oxygen management research programs have produced detailed information about oxygen exposure susceptibility and levels during various winemaking stages (Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile), identified significant factors accelerating wine oxidation (University of California, Davis), described the influence of wine chemistry before bottling on wine post-bottling development (Australian Wine Research Institute), determined the influence of bottling on wine development (Geisenheim Institute) and assessed the impact of oxygen ingress rates on post-bottle wine aging, taking into consideration all of this collective knowledge (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique).
For more information about Nomacorc’s oxygen management research programs, visit
About Nomacorc
Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium and China, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).

Nomacorc Releases Second Annual Research Update
24 June, 2011

Nomacorc, the world’s leading producer of alternative wine closures, has released its second annual research update. A robust collection of keyinsights and learnings from Nomacorc’s renowned global academic research partnerships, the 2011 report advances previous understanding of the concept of “wine oxygen demand,” or the amount of oxygen a wine needs to develop optimally.

Integrating conclusions from leading enologists at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; The Australian Wine Research Institute; Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique; Geisenheim Institute; and the University of California, Davis, Nomacorc’s 2011 research update details studies carried out on numerous red and white wine varietals. Of particular interest are findings pertaining to the effects of oxygen exposure on red wine development during bottle storage.

“It is generally accepted that red wine benefits from some exposure to small amounts of oxygen, because oxidation of phenolic compounds results in increased color stability and better mouthfeel,” said Dr. Stéphane Vidal, global director of enology for Nomacorc. “However, this new research is significant, because it explores in detail the crucial role that specific amounts of oxygen at various points in the post-bottling aging process play in the proper development of red wines.”

The behaviors of Grenache, Shiraz, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon wines were examined under different oxygen regimes and monitored using NomaSense oxyluminescence technology. The studies indicated that variations in oxygen exposure during bottle storage – in particular, those introduced by the use of closures with different oxygen transfer rates (OTRs) – have a dramatic impact on wine aroma development in the bottle and that OTR is a key influencer on the development of red berry attributes. Also, researchers were able to identify an optimal range of OTRs to promote the expression of red and dark fruits, chocolate and spice attributes while avoiding the dominance ofreduced or aged characters.

“Nomacorc has set a high standard for collaborative and credible academic research in the industry,” said Professor Eduardo Agosin from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. “The good work they have initiated can lead to valuable applied solutions for the wine industry.”

Based on this knowledge, Nomacorc has pursued closure development strategies focused on creating a range of products able to provide a spectrum of OTRs that avoid faults and promote optimum aroma expression. The Select Series, launched in 2011, expands and extends the existing range of OTRs available from previous Nomacorc products. Following the successful launch of the Select 700 and 500 closures, the newest Select Series product – the Select 300 – recently debuted with Nomacorc’s lowest OTR commercially available. The Select 100 will launch later in 2011.

“The benefits of careful oxygen management are not limited to the control of aroma defects such as reduction and oxidation,” said Vidal. “By applying oxygen management strategies, particularly by selecting closures with the right OTR, it is also possible to enhance sensory attributes that are positively linked to consumer preference.”

The 2011 research update also summarizes key findings from the individual wine research institutes. For the full 2011 research report, please contact Jodi Phillip at

Nomacorc Debuts Select Series Wine Closures to U.S. at Unified Wine and Grape Symposium
01 March, 2011

ZEBULON, N.C. (January 19, 2011) – Nomacorc, the world’s leading producer of alternative wine closures, is debuting its new, innovative, high-performance line of co-extruded closures – the Select Series – in the United States at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 25-27 in Sacramento, Calif.

Tailored to eliminate fault in winemaking and provide solutions for wines with complex oxygen management requirements, the Select Series consists of multiple products, each designed to play a specific role in post-bottling oxygen management, wine preservation and development. Nomacorc’s global research programs have revealed that the management of oxygen throughout the winemaking process is crucial to achieving optimal wine aroma, flavor, structure and color and that the closure directly affects the chemical and sensory development of wine.

The first two products in the Select Series – the Select 700, available for delivery this month, and the Select 500, available in February – will make their U.S. debut at the Unified Symposium. In April, Nomacorc will launch the Select 300, followed by the Select 100 later in 2011.

“We are excited for winemakers to experience firsthand how these closures integrate science and the art of winemaking,” said Malcolm Thompson, global vice president of marketing and innovation at Nomacorc. “The Select Series provides winemakers with closures that expand and extend the existing range of oxygen transfer rates available through Nomacorc products, with a visual appearance and texture almost indistinguishable from natural cork.”

The first synthetic closures that can be end-printed, the Select Series corks have a natural bark-like roughness and chamfered edge achieved using advanced cutting technology. Both the Select 700 and Select 500 are available in 38, 44 and 47 mm lengths in a natural wood-grain finish.
Nomacorc also is in the early stages of research and development for a tool that will analyze and determine the ideal closure for a wine based on factors such as varietal and desired shelf life.

“The vision for this capability is to employ the findings of our extensive research and further support winemaker intention by identifying the best Nomacorc closure for an individual wine,” said Dr. Stéphane Vidal, global director of enology for Nomacorc. “This tool will provide winemakers with even more control over bringing their winemaker vision to life.”

The Select Series is backed by the Nomacorc Winemaker Promise, a commitment to consistent oxygen control, total protection from cork taint and the highest degree of quality assurance.

Representatives from Nomacorc will showcase the Select Series at the Unified Symposium, held at the Sacramento Convention Center, at booth 1010. Nomacorc will conduct daily drawings at its booth and award prizes to trade show attendees who participate in its “Have you been Selected?” challenge.

The following video contains more information about the Select Series:

About Nomacorc
Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, Austria and China, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit or follow Nomacorc on Twitter and Facebook.

Contacts: Katie Myers
Richards Partners for Nomacorc
Jodi Phillip

New Closure Released: Offers Perfect Oxygen Management

Nomacorc has unveiled its latest product a stopper allowing the lowest-possible oxygen transfer rate. The synthetic stopper manufacturer, which produces 2.1bn closures annually, representing about 12% of the 18bn still wine closure market, claims its extruded plastic closures now offer perfect oxygen management.


Four years ago we started a research programme to understand how oxygen ingress through the closure affected the development of wine in the bottle, Malcolm Thompson, global vice president of marketing and innovation told

Nomacorcs research partners include the Geisenheim Intitute, University of California Davis, the Australian Wine Research Institute, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique at Montpellier (INRA), and the Centro de Aromas of the Catholic University of Chile.

Research programmes include the effect of oxygen on development of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and other grape varieties.

We now have sufficient data to go forward with our vision to introduce a line of closures that allow wines to develop exactly as the winemaker intended,' Thompson said.
The Select Series 300, Nomacorc claims, allows oxygen ingress of 0.002cc of oxygen per day to enter the bottle. The Select 700 and 500 are more porous, allowing 0.0042cc and 0.003cc of oxygen into the bottle.

Nomacorc stresses that its closures dont mimic natural cork, because natural cork is inconsistent, Thompson says.
By contrast, Nomacorc can control wine development through oxygen management with a great degree of exactitude, Thompon said.
We can determine which closure will allow the right level of development by type of wine, by varietal, by region, phenolic ripeness, barrel age, whether the wine is aged on lees or not and many other factors.

He added, First and foremost our objective is to educate the market on the importance of oxygen management.

The Select Series is priced competitively with natural cork, Nomacorc says.

  • Malcolm Thompson has slammed the Sommelier Society of America for its endorsement of natural cork. The Society, America's oldest of its kind, has been widely reported as explicitly endorsing natural cork as 'the preferred closure for wine'. 'Why would they endorse something that causes double-digit faults in wine?' Thompson said. 'Isn't it about wine quality?'

Vinventions closures protect nearly 2.8 billion bottles of wine around the world each year. 


The leading closure of choice in many countries, Nomacorc closes 1 in 3 wines in the United States and every seventh bottle worldwide. Wineries, bottlers, distributors, and retailers in 40 countries, on six continents, including 30 of the 40 largest volume wineries and several of the largest retailers in the world choose Nomacorc to protect their wines.


Title Name Email Phone
Director, Sales & Wine Quality, North America Don Huffman
Key Account Manager Lili Sanchez
Sales Manager Alex Stump
Marketing Manager Mel Cressman melanie.cressman@vinventions.c

Nomacorc Green Line 

Design and Customize Your Nomacorc Closure


Best-in-class closure for luxury wines with extensive aging times up to 25 years


Select Green

The world’s 1st zero carbon footprint closure for premium wines with aging requirements up to 15 years


Classic Green

The premium generation successor to our industry leading “Classic+” product for popular and premium wines


Smart Green 

The successor to our “Smart+” product for entry level, cost-sensitive wines




Since its inception, Sustainability has been an important part of Vinventions’ core beliefs: It is one of our Guiding Principles that influences our key decisions as a business.

Even from our early beginning with the creation of Nomacorc closures, our purpose has always been to protect wine—protect it from faults and outside influences that cause unwanted defects (like cork taint, oxidation and reduction), and ensure that the wines are delivered as the winemakers intend. Over the past 20 years, we have expanded that original purpose, now protecting every seventh bottle of wine worldwide with our House of 7 Brands offerings by Vinventions. 

Building a Sustainable Future

To achieve this purpose long-term, we understand the importance of caring not just for the vineyards and fruit each harvest, but also the people who tend to them and the environments around them. This is why Vinventions invests in Sustainability. We believe we have a social responsibility as a company to ensure the abundance of resources remain so future generations of farmers and winemakers may continue to benefit as we do today.

Vinventions’ commitment to our own sustainability and reducing our impact on nature is evident in our corporate vision to ultimately achieve carbon neutrality on a company-wide basis. Our ongoing dedication to this goal can be seen with new innovations across our product ranges. For example, the Nomacorc Green Line’s patented formulation includes sugarcane plant-based polymers, a 100% renewable raw material source, which helps absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and reduce carbon emissions, in turn helping to combat climate change. Another important milestone for sustainability is Ohlinger SÜBR, which utilizes natural cork and safe, clean and biodegradable materials as alternatives to polyurethane glue.

Beyond environmental conscientiousness, our dedication to creating a sustainable world is visible each day in our offices and facilities through our people and programs designed to reduce carbon footprint, waste and to recycle more, as well as the well-being and philanthropist activities of our associates.

Sustainability at Vinventions considers the triple bottom line: Planet, People, Prosperity. By investing in Sustainability, our goal is to not only improve our environmental impact, but also to support people, both associates and our communities, in their development and to generate long-term prosperity through implementing sustainable processes.

Nomacorc protects wine better than other types of cork or caps.

Nomacorc ensures ideal taste and wine preservation

  • Nomacorc eliminates the potential of moldy odors and off-flavors caused by cork taint (TCA), which is common in wines closed with natural cork
  • The advanced technology used to manufacture a Nomacorc creates highly consistent corks that protect wine and ensure it tastes the same from one bottle to the next
  • The unique outer skin of a Nomacorc creates a tight seal with the neck of the wine bottle and protects wine against leakage and damage from oxygen exposure
  • The inner foam core of a Nomacorc regulates oxygen flow to the wine and allows the wine to breathe properly, unlike other closure options
  • Nomacorc corks are as easy to remove from the bottle as natural corks but don’t break or crumble into the wine

Nomacorc is a major global wine closure producer

  • We’re the second largest closure manufacturer in the world
  • One-third of all the bottles of wine sold in the United States are sealed with a Nomacorc, and one in five bottles in France and Germany
  • Nomacorc manufactures more than 2.8 billion corks a year; about 5 million corks are made each day; over 60 corks per second
  • Nomacorc manufactured 10 billion corks in its first ten years – enough to reach from Earth to the moon when placed end-to-end
  • Nomacorc produced more than 2.8 billion corks at its facilities in 2018, enough to circle the earth 2 times

Nomacorc cares about the environment

  • Nomacorcs are 100% recyclable
  • Nomacorc uses up to four times less energy in production than natural cork manufacturers
  • Nomacorc uses up to 200 times less water in production than natural cork manufacturers
  • Nomacorc partners with recycling companies around the globe which collect and “upcycle” corks and many other used packaging to create environmentally-responsible consumer products
  • Each year, Nomacorc eliminates several hundred tons of CO2 emissions in the U.S. (the equivalent of removing over 200 cars from U.S. highways)