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The cork, a valuable socio-environmental and economic asset

Different producers and professionals in the wine sector met last November 8 in Vilafranca del Penedès in a training session organized by theCatalan Institute of Cork i Innovate where the wine and sparkling wines were covered with corks.

Albert Hereu, director of the Catalan Cork Institute and member of Innovi's Board of Directors, highlighted different beneficial aspects of covering with corks, such as for example the control in theproduct stability during transport and distribution and the fact that the caps help the wine traceability and to determine its authenticity.

Wineries that use corks to seal their wines and sparkling wines can reduce the CO2 balance of the bottles by between 18% and 40%

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On the other hand, corks also represent a valuable socio-environmental asset as they allow wineries that use corks reduce the CO2 balance of the bottles between an 18 and a 40% and can have different uses in its life cycle. Thus, corks can be recycled for different uses, they also serve to obtain biogas or to be transformed into a substrate in the vineyard and can even be used as a granular medium to purify waste water from productive processes of the wineries

 

Natural 100%, reusable 100% and recyclable 100%

Cork is one natural material which retains more CO2 than it emits and its extraction does not cause any negative impact, moreover, it does not require the felling of the tree. In fact, after the cork peel the biological activity of the cork oak increases and its capture of CO2 multiplies between 3 and 5 times. This turns the cork oak into a CO2 sink, a source of biodiversity and a fire barrier, among others.

One of the most interesting data discussed at the conference is the fact that, according to a study published by Wine Economics in 2016, the consumer would buy earlier, and would be willing to pay more, for a bottle closed with natural cork than for the same bottle covered with a synthetic or screw cap.

The consumer also associates the cork with a traditional process and one certain ritual, especially in the case of opening bottles of cava, and generates a very positive image linked to the product of higher quality.

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Catalonia is one of the few countries in the world where the wine-growing area and the cork area coexist

Hereu also emphasized the fact that Catalonia is one of the few countries in the world where the wine-growing area and the cork area live together and the great opportunities this represents. From this point of view, he highlighted the shared challenge between the agents of the two sectors in order to convey and publicize this wealth in wine tourism products and corks where the end consumer can get to know first hand both the process of making wine or sparkling wine, as well as the experiential process of peeling cork, for example.

At the Conference, Anna Oliveras, head of Analytical Chemistry at the Institut Català del Suro, analyzed the different types of caps and their characteristics, also taking into account quality control, storage and transport criteria.

As for the practical aspect, the attendees gathered from Jordi Roselló, Grup Oller's Quality Manager, a set of good practices in the bottling process and Magda Anton, Recaredo's Quality Director presented a successful case of how the cap influences the production of cava.

Here you can access the presentations by Albert Hereu and Anna Oliveras.

Presentation by Albert Hereu:

Presentation by Anna Oliveras:

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