100% Cork Releases Video Focusing on Prominent Winemakers' Preference for Cork

Mar 15, 2011, 09:00 ET from 100% Cork

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 100% Cork, the movement to educate wine drinkers and the wine industry about the benefits of natural cork, has released a video that includes interviews with four respected winemakers about why they prefer cork for technical and environmental reasons.

The winemakers in the video are Richard Arrowood, Jim Bernau, Steve Rued and Ed Sbragia, all of whom use natural cork to seal their wines.

In the video, Amapola's Wine Master Richard Arrowood said: "If you're going to produce wines with potential age-ability, you still need a cork finish.  There's nothing wrong with plastics, but for a bottle of wine, no thank you."

Prior to founding Amapola, Mr. Arrowood established the award-winning Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, which released its first wine in 1988. Mr. Arrowood became an icon to the wine world even before founding his own winery as the first winemaker at Chateau St. Jean, where he produced some of California's first single-vineyard wines.

"It's a natural product we can sustainably grow," Mr. Sbragia said.  "It can also add flavors to the wine ... from a creamy, nutty character to a spicy vanilla character.  I think anything you put in contact with the wine should be a positive, not a detractor."

As the former head winemaker for Beringer Vineyards and the founder of Sbragia Family Vineyards, Mr. Sbragia is credited with making more 90+ wines (104) than any other California wine maker, according to Wine Spectator.  His wines have won numerous awards and his Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays have been ranked No. 1 in the world.

Mr. Bernau, Founder and President of Willamette Valley Vineyard, said: "Natural cork, unlike the screw-caps, has just a tiny amount of oxygen that's inside the cork, and the wine uses that as it ages to improve in its quality.  Choosing wine enclosed with high-quality natural cork protects 7 million acres of extremely valuable habitat that are vital to our biosphere, and it also makes the wine taste just a little bit better."

Wine Enthusiasts Magazine hailed Mr. Bernau's Willamette Valley Vineyard as "One of Americas Great Pinot Noir Producers".  The winery is a leading proponent of sustainable practices, including the use of cork.  

Biodegradable and recyclable, the use of cork provides an economic incentive to preserve vast cork oak forests in the Mediterranean Basin that trap greenhouse gases, prevent desertification, sustain communities and provide habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species.  There is no shortage of cork, and cork oaks are not cut down to make cork.  

Mr. Rued, Senior Winemaker for Rutherford Wine Company, added: "(Cork) seals great, and that it's a natural product is one of the main reasons we came back to it."

Based in California's Napa Valley, Rutherford Wine Company has a strong focus on sustainability, going so far as to note on some of its labels that it uses natural cork and environmentally conscious glass.  Raised on his family's vineyard in Sonoma County, California, Mr. Rued was the Winemaker at Kenwood Vineyards before joining Rutherford in 2005.

All of the quotes in this press release were excerpted from the video, which was drawn from a longer 100% Cork video that also includes information about innovative uses for recycled cork.

About 100% Cork

100% Cork is a campaign to educate U.S. wine consumers about the benefits of choosing wine with natural cork stoppers because of cork's environmental, technical and societal advantages. The campaign seeks to recruit and organize wine consumers to request that winemakers and retailers choose natural cork over artificial stoppers. The campaign is funded by the Portuguese Cork Association and the Cork Quality Council.

SOURCE 100% Cork