Cork Gaining More Traction As a Preferred Wine Closure

Several wineries, including Fetzer, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, and Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery have returned to natural cork closures.

A recent study by Tragon Corp. found that wine buyers overwhelmingly prefer the traditional closure method to alternatives such as screw caps. In fact, more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers associate corks with higher quality wine.

For the past 10 years, cork’s share of the market has declined. By 2010, market share was evenly split between cork and alternatives, according to a recent Nielsen survey of U.S. wines. By 2015, cork’s market share had increased to 59 percent, while alternative closures dropped to 41 percent.

The highest-quality wines in the marketplace are sealed with natural cork. More than 90 percent of the gold medal-winners at the recent North Coast Wine Challenge were finished with cork closures.

The green benefits are many. Cork is a clean, renewable resource, and it’s biodegradable and recyclable. Cork production creates less greenhouse gases, and cork forests preserve diverse eco-systems.

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