The general director of theCatalan Institute of the Vinya and Wine (INCAVI), Alba Balcells Barrel and the president of the Catalan Institute of Cork Foundation (ICSuro), Joan J. Puig Castro, have signed today a collaboration agreement that reaffirms the INCAVI's commitment to the Catalan cork sector through the promotion of the use of the cork as an element of wine quality assurance and for its positive impact on sustainability, the circular economy and establishment of employment in the rural environment.
The signing took place during the institutional visit of the director general of INCAVI to the Palafrugell headquarters of the Institut Català del Suro. During the day it was possible to witness the peeling of cork at the Can Villalonga estate in Cassà de la Selva and the company that made corks for sparkling wine was visited Francisco Oller. They have also attended Albert Hereu, director of the Institut Català del Suro and Elizabeth Sánchez, director of Territorial Services of Climate Action in Girona. With this agreement INCAVI undertakes to disseminate among the Catalan DOs and the sector as a whole the importance of knowledge of the technical specifications and analysis standards of the caps. Also in to promote the use of Catalan cork and to continue investing in research and the transfer of knowledge of good bottling practices, types of caps on the market and their adjustments to each type of wine. As well as developing quality controls and sensory analyzes to ensure quality through the Official Wine Tasting Panel of Catalonia, a pioneering tool with its own scientific method that objectively and comprehensively evaluates wines and their organoleptic descriptors
On the other hand, ICSuro will ensure sustainability, the maintenance of social activity and the socio-economic promotion of the cork sector and its complementarity with the wine sector by transferring its knowledge to the technical and research teams of the INCAVI It will also provide free advice on the standardization of closures for still and sparkling wines from Catalonia.
Bet on sustainability and the circular economy
currently in Catalonia, 1,120 million sparkling wine caps and around 300 million still wine caps are produced annually. More than 50% is engaged in export to more than fifty countries.
The wine sector in Catalonia is a leader in sustainability and in applying management techniques to vineyards and wineries that have a lower environmental impact. Along these lines, from INCAVI it is considered important that the auxiliary industries in the sector also advance in this same direction. Corks act as carbon sinks, natural cork waste is used to make agglomerated cork and cork is a biodegradable product that can be made into compost. Therefore, currently, of all the capping options on the market, the cork cap has the least environmental impact.
In addition, cork is also an easily recyclable material that helps to reduce the environmental footprint of the wine container, as it is a local and renewable raw material, it does not hinder the recovery of the bottle glass and they can give new uses that make it possible to add value to the waste.