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American Wine Consumers Overwhelmingly Prefer Cork Closures

Cork Seen as a Marker of High or Very High Quality Wine by 97% of Consumers

NEW YORK, July 6, 2017 – The Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) and the California-based Cork Quality Council announced results from a joint study conducted by U.S. wine market research company, Wine Opinions, to understand the attitudes and purchase behaviors of American wine consumers toward wine closures. In addition to cork being seen as an indicator of wine quality by as much as 97 percent of respondents, findings also revealed that natural cork is the closure of choice for wine purchased at a restaurant (91 percent), wine purchased as a gift (93 percent), and wine purchased to bring to a dinner party (86 percent).

Reasons respondents stated for preferring cork were led by the notion that natural cork evokes an important sense of heritage, while the enjoyment of opening wine sealed with a cork, the “pop” and the “ritual” creating a unique distinctiveness at the moment of consumption were also cited. Importantly, respondents also found cork to be conducive to wine aging, a marker to check the quality of the brand before purchasing, and an indicator of overall quality.

A total of 1,549 consumers participated in the study and questions asked were cross-tabulated by gender, age, frequency of consumption, price bracket of purchases, importance of closure type, and those who age their wine.

One surprising finding from the survey, according to Executive Director Peter Weber of the Cork Quality Council, was that consumers still need help understanding and appreciating the environmental and social benefits of natural cork over plastic stoppers and screwcaps.

“The fact is that cork is a 100 percent renewable and sustainable natural resource, harvested every nine years without damaging the tree. It not only provides important CO2 retention, a crucial tool to fight climate change, it also provides one of the world’s 36 most important biodiversity hotspots. In the era of climate change, education about natural cork’s environmental and social benefits is becoming more and more of a focus, and we still have work to do to fully engage the public on this topic,” notes Weber.

The positive environmental attributes of natural cork have also been recognized by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), the world’s governing body for global wine production. In the 2011 “General Principles of the OIV Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol for the Vine and Wine Sector,” OIV’s resolution to help address the harmful effects of climate change encouraged wineries around the world to consider each individual cork’s ability to retain as much as 3.95 ounces when calculating the carbon footprint of bottled wine.

For more information about APCOR, visit www.apcor.pt and www.100percentcork.org. You can follow APCOR on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For questions about APCOR, please contact Krisna Bharvani or Josh Zoland of Colangelo & Partners.

About APCOR:

The Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) exists to promote natural cork and its products. APCOR is the employers’ association of the cork sector that represents, promotes and carries out research in the Portuguese cork industry. It was created in 1956 and is based in Santa Maria de Lamas, in the council of Santa Maria da Feira, at the heart of the cork industry around 30 kilometers from Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. Membership of the association is open to all companies operating in the fields of production, marketing or export of cork products. The organization advocates on behalf of the Portuguese cork industry worldwide and is the driving force of an industry based on tradition, innovation and sustainability.

1 Comment on "American Wine Consumers Overwhelmingly Prefer Cork Closures"

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  1. Hi Guys,
    What would one expect from a cork based association promoting products they essentially support and manufacture? Like to see the content of the survey, especially if the interviewed group were asked questions about their understanding of “cork taint” or “random oxidation” and whether the “pop” is more important.
    It is good to see the association stand by its product and explain the ‘green” aspects of cork growing cannot be ignored.
    Yet having suffered 3 vintages wiped out by cork closures (which essentially destroyed my brand), mainly due to random oxidation as well as TCA can also not be ignored. They were in denial about the problem, so they advocated and they certainly did not come to the party when it came to fixing the problem.
    Now promises of improved technology to have cork taint disappear in reconstituted closures has helped but I am still in doubt of the random oxidation issue being resolved, especially with the total natural cork closure.
    Screwcaps are consistent and deliver. Chances of closure problems are virtually non existent. I believe customers want consistency too and opening a bottle from the cellar 15 years down the track needs to be a joy, more guaranteed by screwcap than cork. This far overrides the “pop” that may deliver ruined wine.
    The day the cork manufactures can stand by the product with a guaranteed total 100% refund on each damaged bottle due to accelerated oxidation or taint as a result of their closure is the day I will consider 100% natural cork for my ultra premium and standard ranges.
    Once again, the pain of opening an over oxidized or tainted bottle, especially cellared for some time, far overrides the joy of the “pop” ritual.

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