Cork Supply is redefining quality through innovation, superior service, and expertise 

Initially taking root in a renowned wine region in Northern California, Cork Supply has expanded from a supplier of natural corks, into a global leader in closure technology. VINC technical corks, Talis bartops, Rivercap tin capsules, and Maverick screwcaps are all featured in the portfolio. 

Working with the wine industry across the world, Cork Supply operates production facilities in the United States, Europe, Australia, Argentina, China and South Africa, and provides services to wineries in more than 30 countries. 

While newer closure solutions have been introduced, cork remains the material of choice for stoppers of quality wines. Protecting wine from oxidation at the sameInnocork Circuit time as allowing the transfer of oxygen suitable for ageing, cork’s natural properties make it a desirable commodity, conveniently delivered by Mother Nature. 

However, Cork Supply has applied modern, innovative practices to the screening of corks, resulting in increasingly high standards of quality, performance, and reliability. Indeed, being a leader in the fields of investigation, development and innovation is a source of pride for the business. Every day its teams are driven to develop new ways of improving upon its products and services, to guarantee customer satisfaction. 

This level of quality is a huge advantage for businesses choosing to work with Cork Supply. The company can provide a host of additional benefits, including supplying traceability from forest to bottle, purchasing high quality raw material directly from the forest, sampling and analyzing the raw material directly in the forest and utilizing the most advanced boiling equipment in the industry, to name a few. 

A major innovation offered by Cork Supply is its TCA screening technology, DS100 and DS100+. TCA is an acronym for the chemical compound 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, which is responsible for the aromas and flavors that can be referred to as ‘corkiness’ in wine. Introduced in 2011, to this day Cork Supply’s DS100 service continues to be unique in the market. When choosing DS100 corks, 100 percent of a customer’s natural corks are inspected for off aromas, including TCA, using Cork Supply’s non-destructive dry soak method. Furthermore, every cork in a DS100 order is inspected by three trained sensory specialists. If one of these trained specialists should detect an off aroma, the cork is rejected. 

Such is Cork Supply’s confidence in its DS100 service, that if any customers receive a cork taint claim on any bottle sealed with a DS100 natural cork, it will buy the bottle back for the retail release price of the wine. 

Seeing incredible success from DS100 encouraged Cork Supply to continue to innovate in this area, leading to DS100+. This technology automatically detects TCA in natural corks. Maintaining the non-destructive and non-invasive principles developed in the DS100 service, the DS100+ technology guarantees that each individual cork in a lot is 100 percent TCA taint-free by rejecting any natural cork that has TCA levels above the sensory threshold. The DS100+ technology guarantees an efficient screening of 100 percent of corks in a lot, while resulting in a competitively priced natural cork for the market. 

Discussing Cork Supply’s technological achievements must include X100. Another first-to-market for the business, this revolutionary approach was developed inhouse by Cork Supply with input from external partners. X100 is a proprietary electromagnetic imaging technology that screens the internal structure of natural corks for features that can’t be seen on the outside. It then correlates the internal structure of the cork with its Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR). 

By employing advanced imaging techniques for internal structure analysis in conjunction with sophisticated deep learning algorithms, X100 has proven effective in identifying corks with high OTR values from the regular OTR distribution found in natural corks. The technology detects outliers that can allow up to five-to-ten times more oxygen ingress than other corks. 

Certified and validated by the UvaMox laboratory in Spain, X100 is exclusively dedicated to the most premium natural cork product in the portfolio, named Legacy. Legacy is the most consistent natural closure on the market, individually classified, and again, with a bottle buy back guarantee. 

All the passion for innovation at Cork Supply stems from Founder and President, Jochen Michalski. Jochen was a founding member of the Cork Quality Council, which standardized industry protocols that deliver ongoing improvements in cork quality. He was also the first to establish an independent third-party laboratory, Global Quality Control, to monitor and verify compliance of all incoming and outgoing cork lots from Cork Supply. 

He also introduced a vertically integrated ‘total forest-to-bottle management’ strategy to ensure complete control of natural corkwood, and Cork Supply remains committed to the sustainable stewardship of the Mediterranean forests that produce its corks. For centuries, cork farmers have sustainably harvested the resources of their ‘montado’ (cork forests), protecting what the WWF has called ‘one of the finest examples of a system, which perfectly balances the needs of both humans and nature’. 

Founded in 1981, Cork Supply is heading towards its 50th year in business with a continued focus on expansion and sustainability. Its unwavering dedication to innovation has seen the release of ingenious products, and its willingness to adopt new approaches has led to efficiency improvement programs, such as a lean manufacturing transformation that commenced in 2012. It remains as committed as ever to pioneering innovations, and continually raising the bar on quality, reducing waste, and creating value for clients, employees, and the communities it serves.