Newsletter #2, August 2006
APCOR launches Cork Certification Course

APCOR – The Portuguese Cork Association, in its continuing campaign to educate the wine trade and consumers on natural cork, has added a Cork Certification Course to its U.S. website.

This certification course will allow anyone with an interest in becoming an expert on the subject of cork and natural cork stoppers the opportunity to test their knowledge. This comprehensive course, covering topics from Cork and Wine Basics, Cork Facts, Cork Harvesting and Production, Types of Cork Stoppers, Wine Defects and Aromas, and Cork and the Earth, was developed based on the information found within APCOR’s U.S. website, allowing interested people access to all of the relevant information in one location.

Those who pass the course will be registered with APCOR and, as cork experts, will receive certificates of completion, and will be eligible to receive additional information about cork, as it becomes available.

The certification course can be located HERE.

Win $1,000 with the “My Favorite Moment with Real Cork” contest

APCOR, The Portuguese Cork Association, wants your stories about real cork. APCOR is offering up to a $1,000 shopping spree of fine vintage Ports and Bordeaux wines to three people who provide them with the best “My Favorite Moment with Real Cork” stories.

Knowing how that pop of the cork adds to the magic of opening a bottle of wine, APCOR has gone to the public to get some real life stories on how natural cork made a moment magical. Stories will be judged on originality, personal vision, creativity, completeness, and appropriateness for representing natural cork products. They must be 250 words or less long, must be original work and must describe how uncorking a bottle of wine, sealed with natural cork, made an event memorable.

For contest rules and details, find the contest ad in the September issues of Beverage World and Santé, the October issue of Wine and Spirits, or at the APCOR USA website on the “Links” page.

M.A. Silva invests into the future and quality

M.A. Silva Corks USA has begun construction on a new processing and administrative complex that will be located in Sonoma, CA. The facility will be 30,000 square feet in size, and will increase their workspace and production capacity by 50%.

One of the highlights of this new site is that it will have a new laboratory facility that is 250% larger than the existing one, showing how quality control has taken a front seat in the eyes of all major cork companies.

The projected completion date of the complex is November, 2006.

For information on M.A. Silva Corks USA, visit their website or call (707) 636-2530

Amorim’s “Super Plants” Streamline Cork Production

Amorim Cork America, the U.S. headquarters of Amorim & Irmãos, S.A. (Portugal), the world’s largest manufacturer of natural wine cork stoppers (3 billion sold annually), announced the completion of a 15 million dollar modernization of the company’s manufacturing plants in Portugal.

The restructuring began in November 2005 and has resulted in the consolidation of five plants into two. One of the goals was to locate manufacturing operations closer to essential raw materials, skilled labor and the company's advanced TCA extraction technologies. The two new plants have the capacity to produce over 3.5 million corks a day.

For information about Amorim Cork America and Amorim & Irmãos of Portugal, visit their website or call (707) 224-6000.