Home Wine Industry Spotlights Scott Labs and Amorim Partner to Bring Fully Biodegradable Micro-Granular Cork Stoppers...

Scott Labs and Amorim Partner to Bring Fully Biodegradable Micro-Granular Cork Stoppers to US Wineries

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Consumers increasingly believe companies have a responsibility to protect the planet but aren’t doing enough, and they’re willing to change their buying habits to reward companies that are. These concerns are deepest among millennials — the generation wineries have been courting to replace the retiring baby boomers that a recent UK study identified as being highly favorable to wine cork stoppers over artificial closures.

Cork plays a crucial role in maintaining the world’s ecological balance, fighting climate change and desertification, and sustaining biodiversity. Cork producers like Amorim help ensure that the seven million acres of cork oak forest, an integral part of one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots, remain protected. For the many consumers who consciously consider sustainability metrics before buying products, these forests are crucial in delivering a negative carbon balance of -393grams CO2-equivalents to Amorim’s cork stoppers, in stark contrast to the CO2 emissions associated with non-natural closures.

Developing 21st-century technology

Amorim Cork set its sights on creating a 100% natural micro-granulated cork stopper and spent years researching and developing Xpür® with 21st-century CO2 supercritical technology which upgrades the decades-old existing supercritical systems used to eliminates cork taint. This breakthrough uses just 25% of the energy and 10% of the CO2 previously required to remove TCA and other sensory-deviation molecules in the granules, making it the greenest and most efficient process for micro-granulated corks. It also retains the cork’s intrinsic features and functions without adding any artificial components, ensuring the corks are 100% biodegradable. 

Amorim Cork launched the Xpür® technology in 2021 with the introduction of its newest range of micro-granulated closures, Neutrocork Xpür® and Qork® (indeed, cork with a Q). Both products are at least 98% natural cork in volume and 80% cork in weight. Amorim goes a step further with Qork® by using 100% vegetable polyols from vegetable origins in its binding formula.

Partnering to bring 100% biodegradable micro-granular corks to all wineries

A critical part of that launch is the partnership with Scott Laboratories, known for bringing best-of-class products to its wine industry clients.

“Scott Labs president Alex Scott and I understood the demand for supercritical micro-granular cork, and Amorim’s $15 million investment in developing its breakthrough Xpür® anti-TCA technology was the newest and greatest.,” says Chris Holman, General Manager of Packaging at Scott Labs. “There are other micro-granular corks on the market, but with added artificial components. Amorim’s corks don’t need to add such components to bring back the elasticity of the cork lost when applying older, super critical technology to the granulates. The state-of-the-art Xpür® system keeps the natural physical- mechanic properties of cork intact, so there’s no need to add artificial elasticity back in.”

“We want the industry to know there’s another, more sustainable and cost-effective option that are 100% biodegradable and renewable.” adds Holman. “We share a common goal of providing the best products to our customers. We don’t believe a single cork can fulfill the needs of every single winemaker in every region. The wine industry often refers to TCA cork taint as the primary factor to transition to screw tops and synthetic stoppers,” says Holman. “Amorim enhanced range of micro-granulated closures has everything – performance, the best CO2 balance in the industry, cost-effectiveness, biodegradability and are 100% recyclable— allowing winemakers to use cork stoppers with complete confidence.“

For more information, go to www.scottlab.com

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