U.S. Wineries Continue to Increase Their Use of Cork

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Sales of Wine with Cork Surge for Full Year and Holiday Season

NAPA, Calif. – January 25, 2011 –Premium domestic wineries are continuing to increase their useof cork closures, with brands using cork once again showing higher annual and holiday‐period salesgrowth compared to those with alternative closures, according to a survey released today by theCork Quality Council (CQC) based on data from A.C. Nielsen.

Among the top 100 selling brands, the number of wines using cork rose by 10.4% to 74 brands during the 52 week ‐period ended Jan. 8, 2011, compared to the same period a year ago. Moreover, wines with cork posted an average annual sales increase of 10.3%, compared to 3.5% for alternative closures, which include plastic stoppers and metal screw ‐caps.”This is the fifth survey in a row to show an increase in the use and sales of cork,” said PeterWeber, executive director of the CQC. “We believe wineries are returning to cork because of consumer preference, vast improvements in the quality of cork, the emerging limitations of alternative closures and a growing awareness of cork’s environmental advantages.”

Annual Sales Growth by Closure Type 

Holiday Sales

Sales of wine with cork closures were particularly strong during the holiday period. Cork finishedbrands enjoyed a 10.8% increase in case sales between Oct. 16, 2010 and Jan. 8, 2011, comparedto the same period last year. Case sales of brands finished with alternative closures were flatduring the holiday period.

The CQC study focused on the top 100 selling wine brands priced at more than $6 per 750 mlbottle and was confined to supermarket sales and did not include on‐premise activity or sales fromsmaller wine shops. The top 100 Brands include the majority of wine brands that use alternativewine closures.

About 100%
Cork100% Cork is a campaign to educate U.S. wine consumers about the benefits of choosing wine withreal cork stoppers because of cork’s environmental, technical and societal advantages. Thecampaign seeks to recruit and organize wine consumers to request that winemakers and retailerschoose natural cork over artificial stoppers. The campaign is funded by the Portuguese CorkAssociation and the Cork Quality Council.

Jeff Lloyd
(212) 573‐6100
Lance Ignon
(415) 369‐8443


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