SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- 100% Cork, the movement to encourage wineries and retailers to increase their use of natural cork stoppers, has kicked into high gear with the launch of a new web site at www.100percentcork.org and a national advertising campaign.
The site prominently features video testimonials from vintners, designers and a world-renowned environmental leader speaking out about the social, economic and environmental benefits of using natural cork. The following quotes are drawn from the video testimonials.
"Choosing wine enclosed with high-quality natural cork protects 7 million acres of extremely valuable habitat ... and it also makes the wine taste just a little bit better." – Jim Bernau, founder Willamette Valley Vineyards.
"I have wines that are in the bottle for 30 years and I know the cork will maintain them and even allow them to improve." – Ed Sbragia, former head winemaker for Beringer Vineyards and founder of Sbragia Wines.
"Harvesting cork in a sustainable way from managed forests not only preserves jobs ... it protects us from embracing petroleum and fossil fuel alternatives." – Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., Senior Scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
100% Cork Pledge
The web site also calls on wine drinkers to sign a pledge that will be sent to wineries and retailers urging them to increase their reliance on natural cork.
"Studies show that U.S. consumers overwhelmingly prefer real cork stoppers over synthetic alternatives," said Peter Weber, Executive Director of the Cork Quality Council. "Based on the success of 100% Cork's Facebook page, we expect thousands of wine consumers to sign the pledge on our web site and mobilize themselves into a powerful force to persuade wineries and retailers to increase their use of natural cork stoppers."
The campaign's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/100PercentCork) has attracted nearly 30,000 fans, almost all of whom support cork.
The 100% Cork movement is further supported by a national advertising campaign, launched earlier this month with an electronic billboard in Times Square. Additional advertising is debuting this month in The New York Times and on National Public Radio.
"The advertising campaign will help build a lasting movement to empower consumers to actively choose wine with natural cork closures over synthetic alternatives," Weber said.
Reasons to Choose Cork
First, natural cork is the ideal closure for wine because it allows wine to properly age in a healthy and controlled environment.
Second, cork has clear-cut environmental advantages over synthetic stoppers. Metal screw caps and plastic stoppers produce 10-24 times more greenhouse gases and consume as much as five times more non-renewable energy than real cork over their life-cycles, according to a peer-reviewed study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The World Wildlife Fund has called the use of plastic and metal wine closures a "major threat" to Mediterranean cork oak forests because their use undermines demand for cork.
Contrary to popular belief, cork oak trees are not cut down or harmed during the harvest. Cork oaks can live for hundreds of years, and there is no shortage of corks or cork oak trees. Demand for cork provides an incentive to plant and maintain the Mediterranean's vast oak forests, which every year offset the carbon produced by 2.5 million cars.
About 100% Cork
100% Cork is a campaign to educate U.S. wine consumers about the benefits of choosing wine with real 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.