USA Wineries Increasing Use of Cork Closures
According to the data released recently by the CQC, out of 100 top selling wine brands, the number of brands using cork closures rose to 72 during the past five months, registering an increase of 7.5%. These brands using cork as the closure also posted an average annual sales bump of 10.2 %, compared to annual growth of 3.7 % for alternative closures majority of which are screw-caps.
Cork comes from a certain variety of oak tree that is only found in the Mediterranean, especially Portugal.
The reason for sticking with cork has a lot to do with the psychological value of cork with the consumer. Some whiskies, such as Makers Mark, also use cork stoppers or the premium impression. Though with whiskies, which do not typically get stored on their sides after opening, cork dry-out can happen if the bottle doesn't get consumed fast enough.
A look at the survey indicates that the maximum use of alternative closures is in the $6-9 range- whereas 16 producers use cork, 15 are still using screwcaps (more than half of screw-cap users are in this category).
France's cork federation last summer went on the the offensive with a poster campaign that features wine and champagne bottles with outlandish alternative stoppers like a plastic duck and the slogan: "Always imitated, never equaled."
The Cork Quality Council is a non-profit group organized to improve quality assurance programs for its membership which comprises of the big guns of the cork industry - Amorim Cork America, Cork Supply USA, Ganau America, Juvenal Direct, Lafitte Cork & Capsule, M.A.Silva Corks USA, Portocork and Scott Laboratories and thus structured to help cork producers in their marketing clout.