Wine closures in the The Wall Street Journal

Coincidentally, the day after I returned from Planet Zebulon, where I’d been visiting Nomacorc’s headquarters, The Wall Street Journal ran a feature on the way synthetic corks and screwcaps have taken market share away from natural cork, focusing strongly on Nomacorc. You can read it here.

The article is pretty comprehensive, and contains an interesting graphic based on Nomacorc’s estimates showing the way that the closures market currently stands (right). Of a total closures market of 18 billion, synthetics account for 20%, with Nomacorc alone making up 11% of the closures market worldwide.

This is for still wine, presumably, and bottle formats of 75 cl and above (many smaller format bottles come with a screwcap and this would skew the figures).

What would be interesting to see would be a graphic showing the figures for different markets, and also an indication of trends.

4 comments to Wine closures in the The Wall Street Journal

  • Martin

    Also interesting Jamie to see how the cork demographic (if that is what it can be called) has changed. I managed a trip to Portugal last year and was told repeatedly that the money had dried up because real cork (straight wine cork in lingo) was now a minority to colmated or aglo. This meant all the little producers had been forced out even though total sales had gone up.

  • @Martin, Not ALL the little producers, surely? I buy my 100% natural corks (not colmated or aglo) from a small producer (called Salmantina de Corchos) in the Province of Salamanca (Spain) but right on the border with Portugal. I was under the impression that the cork farming sector was very ‘fragmented’, ie many small producers, as opposed to being dominated a few big producers. Is this not the case? (I haven’t seen any figures – like I said it’s the general impression I have!)

  • It will be interesting to see what the Asian attitude towards cork, synthetics or screw caps. The cork forests could disappear if they continue their wine buying spree.

  • Martin

    Fabius – yes you are right. There is still the exception that proves the rule. When I first started visiting Portugal 15 years ago it was common to see men and woman on the front porch of their house punching cork to make a little extra cash. This was then sold to the wholesalers and larger suppliers. Unfortunately, and for many reasons, this has disappeared. When walking through the factories now more then half the punching stations are empty, but there is doubling of the glue vats. Not the fault of alternatives only – it just isn’t possible to expect wineries to pay 30 or 40p for a cork in a 5 pound bottle of wine. Back in those days, as a buyer for a very large winery, I was paying less for glass then the premium cork.

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