China driving a return to cork

20th September, 2017 by Lucy Shaw

Demand for wines bottled under cork in China is driving Australian producers to return to the closure according to Jordi Duran of Spanish cork producer Trefinos.

Workers at the Trefinos factory in Palafrugell back in the day

Speaking to the drinks business during Trefinos’ 250th birthday celebrations at the company’s base in Palafrugell in northeastern Spain this week, Duran, the company’s export director, said:

“A number of Australian producers are going back to cork because of the influence of Chinese consumers, who want their wines bottled under cork.

Tree huggers: Cork loving Chinese consumers are driving a return to cork

“If there is an enemy of cork today, it’s screwcaps, not synthetic corks. The quality of screwcaps has improved a lot and they are an okay closure for 80% of wines.”

Looking ahead, Duran told db that it was the duty of the cork industry to fight back against the proliferation of alternative closures and wine packaging now on the market.

“I’ve seen millennials drink wine from a can, but where do you draw the line? The cork industry has started to fight back,” he said.

“Screwcaps are more convenient than corks but is wine a convenience beverage? I don’t think so,” he added.

Trefinos is celebrating its 250th birthday this year. Founded by Martí Barris in 1767, the company was originally named Casa Barris but was renamed Trefinos in 1917 by its then owner Joan Miquel i Avellí.

Today Trefinos is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of still and sparkling wine stoppers with subsidiaries in France, Italy and the US.

Producing over 500 million units a year, Trefinos counts Torres and Moët & Chandon among its key clients and exports to 22 countries.

Employing 112 people, Trefinos was the first cork company in the world to obtain ISO 9000 certification and has gone beyond carbon neutral to become carbon negative.

Spain is the second largest producer of cork after Portugal. It is also made in France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

Cork forests around the world cover an area of 2,119,089 hectares. In Spain cork trees grow in Andalusia, Extremadura and Catalonia.

It takes around 50 years for a cork tree to produce cork of sufficient quality to be used as stoppers. Trees are harvested once a decade.

The Quercus Suber oaks used for the production of cork can live for up to 300 years and can be harvested around 13 times in their lifetime. Debarking causes no harm to the trees, which never have to be cut down for the production of cork.

2 Responses to “China driving a return to cork”

  1. Santi says:

    You talk about northeastern Spain when you realky mean Catalunya. Jordi is a very obviously catalan name and the cork industry is too.
    Spanish people can not even pronounce the name Palafrugell. So it is obviously not spanish

  2. Nuno Esteves says:

    Please remember that Spain is the 2nd biggest producer. The first one is Portugal. And so some of the most active cork stoppers are in Portugal. About convenience, take a look at Helix cork stoppers, being used by Amorim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

National Sales Manager

Maverick Drinks
Field based, UK

Regional Sales Executive

Gloucestershire, UK

Senior Content Writer

Rude Wines
Ledbury, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more