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  • Amorim launches world's first whole natural corks with proven non-detectable TCA guarantee

    Amorim has achieved a major technological breakthrough to become the world’s first cork producer to deliver natural cork stoppers to winemakers in six countries with a non-detectable TCA guarantee*, using cutting-edge technology that has not only been successfully trialed, but which is also being independently validated on performance.

    Known as NDtech, the state-of-the-art system further strengthens Amorim’s quality control measures by screening individual cork stoppers on the production line to eliminate the risk of any natural whole cork contaminated with releasable TCA reaching winemakers.

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

    “We have been working to achieve this goal for several years. Now we can examine an individual cork using sophisticated gas chromatography in just seconds, making the technology practical on a major industrial scale. We already have machines in use on the production floor that are delivering this guarantee to the first of our discerning customers.

    Two of the world’s leading wine industry research facilities — Hochschule Geisenheim University and The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) — have been engaged to independently validate the performance of NDtech.

    “The fact that Amorim’s NDtech is the only individual screening technology undergoing a double, scientific validation underlines the magnitude of this technological breakthrough.” said Cabral.

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

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

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

    The level of precision necessary to meet this standard on an industrial scale for 100 per cent of the corks examined is astounding, especially given that the detection threshold of 0.5 nanograms/litre is the equivalent of one drop of water in 800 Olympic-size swimming pools.

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

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

    “Amorim has experienced phenomenal growth in demand for cork stoppers over the past five years with annual sales increasing from 3 billion units to more than 4 billion,” said Amorim’s chairman and CEO António Amorim.

    “This is due, in part, to increasing awareness of cork’s environmental and technical advantages and acknowledgement of the added value that a quality natural cork closure brings to bottled wine.

    “Now, with NDtech, we have made the world’s best wine stopper even better.”

    NDtech is initially being applied to Amorim’s top-end natural cork stoppers used to close some of the world’s most valuable wine brands.

    “The response from winemakers has been as positive as we had anticipated, especially given the important role that premium packaging has for wine exports to crucial markets such as the US and China,” said Carlos de Jesus Amorim’s Head of Marketing & Communications. “Wineries in France, US, Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal have already taken delivery of our NDtech checked corks.”

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

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

  • When it comes to wine closures, Amorim is worlds apart and our new video shows it

    Amorim is the largest producer and supplier of cork stoppers worldwide and in whom the main wine producers trust. The experience of around a century and a half of activity in this field and a development/innovation standing provide a unique guarantee in the supply of quality products. But it’s more than just the superior quality of our closures. The strength of our global resources and our partnerships with the wine industry speak for themselves, with international plaudits for our advanced production methods, quality control, environmental record, value for money and service.

    When it comes to wine closures, Amorim is worlds apart and our new video shows it.

    We do more than you can imagine.

  • Stefanie Costa and Paulo Castro  students of Universidade de Aveiro won the first prize at the Glassberries Design Awards

    The awards ceremony took place for the first time in Madrid, in a gala open to the public at the Medialab-Prado.

    BA Glass - Company in the glass packaging industry – and Corticeira Amorim, the world leader in Cork, gave out the awards in the 4th Edition of the International contest - Glassberries Design Awards. A competition that intends to award the innovation of the young European designers.

    The winners of this edition were Stefanie Costa and Paulo Castro, pupils from Universidade de Aveiro - with their original proposal for a gourmet pickled cucumber jar. They were awarded with the 1st prize of the contest – the Golden Glassberry Award.

    ESAD from Matosinhos took home the second and third prizes of the competition. Maria Teresa Soares was awarded with the 2nd prize - Silver Glassberry, as well as an Honorable Mention for the best and most original use of cork in the range of jars created, promoted by Amorim - the Cork Glassberry Award, with a simple and elegant container. Claudia Baltarejo took the 3rd prize home, the Bronze Glassberry with a stylized packaging proposal.

    To complete the prizes, BA Glass gave out 6 Honorable Mentions, with emphasis on the Special Honorable Glassberry for Jameny Rivera, Roni Zaslavsky and Isaac Soler Ramos, three pupils of ELISAVA - Escuela Superior de Diseño and Ingeniería de Barcelona, in Spain. The other Honorable Mentions regarding the choices from BA, the customers and an Honorable Mention in the Design and Innovation area, were given to the University of Fine-Arts in Poznań and the University of Fine-Arts in Warsaw, Poland.

    All awards were evaluated by an international jury composed of managers from BA and Corticeira Amorim, also of customers representing the food sector in Portugal, Spain, Poland and Germany, and António Lacerda, President of the Portuguese National Association of Designers - AND, among others.

    This year's edition was the most international one up to this date, which included the participation of 186 students of universities in Portugal, Spain and Poland, all invited by BA to create a new range of bottles for the food industry.

    For more informations go to:

  • Brazil: Cork Stoppers mean quality wines

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

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

    USA 94% of consumers prefer natural cork stoppers (Tragon Corp.)

    Italy 85% of consumers consider that cork is the best stopper to ensure the quality of wine (AstraRicerche)

    France 89% of wine drinkers prefer cork stoppers and 89.8% state that cork stoppers preserve all the wine’s aromas (Ipsos)

    China 85% of consumers believe that wines sealed with cork are higher quality (CTR Market Research)

    Spain 92% of consumers prefer cork stoppers (Cork Project)

  • Recycling of Cork Stoppers in France reverts to the fight against cancer

    In the framework of the Ecobouchon recycling programme, Amorim Cork France collected 46 tons of cork stoppers, which were recycled and converted into a donation of €20,000 to the French anti-cancer association, Agir Cancer Gironde. Also in this framework, a cork panel was created in the Place Jean Jaures in Lyon, measuring 9m high and 7m in diameter, using 285,000 wine corks, listed in the Guinness World Records. As a result of the various recycling programmes in different countries, Corticeira Amorim has donated thousands of euros to civil society – in particular institutions involved in the fight against cancer and those that support persons with disabilities, as well as environmental protection institutions.

  • Amorim Cork South Africa supports the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme

    Amorim Cork South Africa has associated itself to The Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme – a reputable training and mentoring initiative for future winemakers and vineyard owners. The support is based on donation of a percentage of the value of the cork stoppers, acquired during 2015 by participating wine producers. “As a company committed to adding value to wine and its image, Corticeira Amorim shares the values of excellence and quality defended by the Cape Winemakers Guild. By means of this partnership, we intend to contribute actively to development of new talent in South Africa’s wine industry that will further strengthen its reputation and excellence in the future”, explains Joaquim Sá, Managing Director of Amorim Cork South Africa, that has supported the project over the past four years. This perspective is reinforced by Louis Strydom, chairman of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development, “a partnership between Amorim Cork South Africa and CWG places the Protégé Programme at the forefront of a successful and innovative future for the South African wine market”. Founded in 2006, the Protégé Programme represents a major commitment to development of the South African wine industry, materialized through investment in training excellent industry professionals.

  • A toast to cork! 

    CBS News

    High in the mountains of Portugal's Algarve region, correspondent Martha Teichner finds herself in “what feels like a misty, magic forest, where giant cork trees grow”; Teichner visits Amorim, a fourth-generation cork manufacturer to discover the ages-old traditions of producing corks. Winner of an Emmy and a Peabody awards, CBS News features have an audience of approximately 8,338,402 visitors per month.

  • The cork oak and natural cork play an instrumental role in the fight against climate changes

    A well-managed cork oak forest can sequester 14.7 tons of CO2 per hectare and per year.

    According to the findings from a recent survey by ISA (Portuguese Higher Institute of Agronomy), the CO2 retention capacity of a cork oak forest can reach 14.7 tons per hectare and per year. Special attention should be paid to these data at a time when the UN Climate Summit has just been held with the purpose of accelerating binding commitments to protect the environment and thus prevent further global warming.The most recent report released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reiterates what the scientific community has long been advocating: that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (such as carbon dioxide - CO2) are responsible for major climate changes and that the medium-term carbon capture and storage in forests can contribute to mitigate CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.Keeping abreast of global efforts to quantify the carbon balance, the European Union has established ICOS - Integrated Carbon Observation System, based on which research work has been carried out in Portugal with a view to quantifying the annual carbon sequestration ability of cork oak forests.For example, in 2006, a sparsely populated cork oak forest (about 30% canopy cover) in Évora (Portugal) sequestered 179 g of carbon per m2 per year (or 6.56 tons of CO2 sequestered per hectare and per year). However, recent studies carried out by ISA to estimate the annual carbon sequestration capacity of a well-managed cork oak forest boasting good soil and climatic conditions, show that such a forest has a carbon sequestration capacity of 400 g per m2 and per year or 14.7 tons of CO2 per hectare and per year.

    If these data are extrapolated to the global scale, cork oak forests in the western Mediterranean basin have the capacity to sequester about 30.66 million tons of CO2 per year.

    The importance of cork oak forests in fighting climate changes has long been praised by prestigious international institutions such as WWF. This organization has recently published the findings of a study entitled "The Cork Oak - a barrier against desertification", which was carried out in partnership with CEABN (Centre for Applied Ecology "Professor Baeta Neves"). According to this paper, in the present setting of climate changes, it is widely accepted that significant canopy cover changes will occur in Portugal, with the country (especially its interior and southern regions) being at risk of desertification. In this context, it is imperative "to ensure the vitality and regeneration of the cork oak south of the Tagus and its expansion to the north, as a way of fighting desertification."

    Also related: Corticeira Amorim's operations enable the retention of more than 2 million tons of CO2 per year