It’s not often in a competitive industry that a company is so confident in its products and services that a 100% quality promise becomes part of its signature – yet, that’s exactly what Scott Laboratories has incorporated through the Scott Promise™ program for its entire range of cork offerings.
Scott Laboratories, the leading supplier of packaging, equipment, filtration, and fermentation products for the North American wine industry, is no stranger to firsts. Former CEO Bruce Scott spearheaded the formation of the Cork Quality Council to help set minimum quality standards for the cork industry. Scott Labs is the only independent North American-owned cork company, the first to bring Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) testing to the North American wine industry, and the first to use SO2 to protect natural cork.
According to Chris Holman, Scott Labs’ General Manager of Cork & Packaging, it was the game-changing nature behind the company’s revolutionary ScottPlus™ Dry-Steam process that resulted in the unprecedented 100% quality promise.
“We developed a unique system that places corks in a chamber with dry steam, then exhaust fans work to draw vapors and sweat TCA and other off aromas out of the corks and into the outside air,” explains Holman. “Results and feedback from our customers have been that these are the most consistently clean corks they’ve ever seen. We’ve since coined the term ‘Dry-Steam’ which is gaining traction in the market.”
While the wine industry has been grappling with TCA for decades, other off aromas detected during sensory analysis have also been a big concern for winemakers, and Scott Labs wanted to address those concerns for their customers head on.
“One of the defining features of the Dry-Steam process is its ability to remove other unwanted aromas that may find their way into the bottled wines,” explains Holman. “For example, eucalyptus that grows naturally in the Portuguese cork forests could taint the wine’s overall aroma and sensory characteristics. This was direct feedback from our customers, so by developing Dry-Steam and now Scott Promise, it’s our way of letting customers know we’re listening.”
After initial production runs and testing the Dry-Steam process, the company knew they were really onto something. Further validation testing conducted by independent third-party labs in both Portugal and the US further confirmed what the Scott Labs team already knew.
The Scott Promise™ program assures clean cork across their entire portfolio or the company will buy the bottle back for full retail value, at no additional cost to the customer. The Promise program ensures that Scott Labs will be the first to validate 100% tested and clean cork for their entire inventory, whether customers purchase natural cork, 1+1, micro, sparkling wine cork, or otherwise.
With this assurance, winemakers can have confidence that each vintage will be protected, and its quality preserved at absolutely no additional incurred cost.
“We are promising satisfaction that there will be no TCA above 1 part per trillion in our cork products, and that in the unlikely scenario it is detected, we’ll buy that bottle back,” emphasizes Kevin Woodling, Scott Labs’ Sales Manager. “Our goal is to build confidence in the industry, and Scott Promise says we have complete confidence in our testing and removal process for off aromas. We took our time to research and develop the best process possible with the latest tools and equipment available to us. Rather than rushing into promoting something we weren’t completely confident in, we did our due diligence. And we’ll continue to maintain that methodical, detailed approach to do right by our customers.”
Scott Labs’ vision is to provide the best customer experience to the wine and specialty beverage community. Their mission is to advance the long-term success of the specialty beverage community by providing best-in-class products and services. They believe in education, honesty, and doing the right thing.
To find out more about what the Scott Promise program entails, visit: https://shop.scottlab.com/promise.