Time.news – The essential element for wine and its quality? It’s the cork. On which aging, prestige, value depend. Including the impact on the environment. But there is cap and cap. Change the shape, the material, the closure system. Technique and technologies of use. For each solution, an impact: economic, ecological, organoleptic. Elements that say a lot about wine. The cap is everything. There are investments, research, studies. And there is no shortage of collectors.
There are all kinds of caps. And sizes. Screw, micro-agglomerates, one-piece. Economic estimates on the future of the sector are more than rosy: by 2025 the turnover will increase from 3.2 billion dollars in 2019 to 4.64 billion in 2025 (Ksi estimates – Knowledge sourcing intelligence).
However, it is still and always the old and dear cork that holds the primacy. Because it is the material mainly used by wine producers and entrepreneurs. Of the approximately 18 billion used for the 0.75-liter bottle format, approximately 72% is in cork, 18% screw and just over 10% plastic. And there are giants like Vinventions, Amorim, Oeneo, Guala Closures, where Italy represents one of the most dynamic and strategic countries. Although Covid-19 has dealt a severe blow to the sector on balance sheets and accounts.
The Portuguese brand Amorim, one of the most important, holds 28% of the global market and, with its subsidiary Amorim cork Italia, sells 585 million pieces on the Italian market, with a turnover of over 60 million euros in 2019. But in 2020, due to Covid, the decline was 5%, that of the Italian subsidiary by 9%, against an overall decline of 4.2% in volumes. The Italian headquarters of the Portuguese company, part of the Amorim Group, Portocork Italia, also has a turnover of 8.5 million euros for 80 million corks produced, and is considered the “cork boutique”, suitable for collectors.
Another important world player is Vinventions, with the subsidiary Nomacorc, which holds 14% of the shares as a guarantee of 2.8 billion bottles every year. It occupies 15% of the Italian market with over 450 million caps. For 2020 there was a growth in volumes against stable revenues.
2021 seems to confirm the 2020 trend. Since 1999 Vinventions has been working on screw caps and closures with zero carbon emissions (Green line). From 2021, the Blue line will be added, based on the concept of circular economy. Diam Bouchage, of the Oeneo Group – with a turnover of almost 300 million euros – sells around 2.2 billion corks worldwide, with 181 million euros in revenues. In 2020, there was a -4% in overall activities. On the Italian market, the decline in volumes was 5%. To protect the environment, Diam invests in France and Spain to restore cork forests and ensure the maintenance of future production capacities, while also protecting forests from climate change. Then there is Labrenta, a company from Breganze, in the Vicenza area, founded in 1971: with 200 million corks sold, it closed 2020 with revenues of around 11 million euros (stable on 2019), 60% abroad.
Present in 15 markets, with 180 employees in Sardinia, California and Champagne, the family business Ganau is a reference in the world of corks, fresh from ISO 14001 environmental certification: it uses cork powders to power biomass plants and produce thermal energy for the plant. In the future, also for the electricity necessary for the production cycle.
Another big one is Guala Closures Group (20 billion corks including wine, spirits, water, oil and vinegar), which in the first 9 months of 2020 totaled net revenues of 417.2 million euros (-6.9%), with approximately 20% of the revenues deriving from screw caps for wine. In 2020 the group accelerated the launch of the range of closures renamed “Blossom”. The goal is to use 35% recycled material by 2025.