Blog & News

Dear Valued Amorim Customer, As we collectively navigate through this crisis, I wish to express my best wishes for the period ahead as well as to update you as far as our local operations are concerned. Amorim is returning to operations as we enter the Level 4...

Cape Town turned out to be the unscheduled last stop for the NRP Sagres, which was undergoing a 371-day voyage of 75 000km, to commemorate the 5th centenary of the ‘round-the-world’ voyage of legendary Portuguese discoverer Fernão de Magalhães. It was this pioneering sea-journey that opened much of the world to European exploration and discoveries. However, the NRP Sagres’s historical voyage, which had been planned for 18 months, was called off after the fifth leg as the global crisis caused by the Coronavirus deepened. This caused the Sagres to leave Cape Town for its return voyage to Lisbon, with no visits allowed, after having reached the Mother City from Buenos Aires earlier in the same week.
When the first cork stoppers were produced 150 years ago in Amorim’s initial rudimentary cork plant, the world was not concerned about the importance of maintaining a sustainable environment for planet earth. In 1870 the motor car had yet to be invented, fossil fuels were not being used and the presence of greenhouse’s gasses were unknown. But 150 years later, it is a different world. One in which sustainability and the responsibility of companies and individuals to respect the environment, so as to ensure their future and that of the earth, now being the number one priority of our time. And although the founding Amorim fathers would not have been aware of it at the time of them setting out into the world of producing cork-stoppers, cork has turned out to be one of the major contributors to ensuring sustainability in the wine industry. The wine world is today, like all industries, under pressure to underscore and emphasise its sustainable credentials due to it being the right thing to do for the future of the earth, but also because consumers are demanding this from producers of the products they buy – wine most definitely included.
An unimposing commercial building in Rosettenville, Johannesburg was where one of South Africa’s most successful brands began over three decades ago. Known then as Chickenland, the building was home to a modest Portuguese restaurant, the fortunes of which changed in 1987 when two friends went to eat some peri-peri chicken. The two friends, Robin Brozin and Fernando Duarte were so enamoured by the quality of the food and the hospitality, they bought the restaurant. Renamed it Nando’s after Fernando’s son. And the rest is history.
With Amorim celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, it is apt to go further back in history to the origins of cork’s inextricable link to wine. In the mid-17th century Dom Pérignon, one of the most famous names in the 6000 year old history of wine, decided to replace the wooden stoppers he and his fellow champenois were using to seal their bottles of champagne with cork stoppers. And not a shabby name for any wine industry product to be associated with.
This is one of the proudest years in the history of Amorim Cork, as here in 2020 the company reaches an exceptional milestone of becoming one of the very few wine industry suppliers in the world to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
The South African wine industry expects 2020 to be a difficult year, but remains hopeful that it will be able to build on some of the momentum gained in 2019 to overcome major challenges. Presenters at the 15th Nedbank Vinpro Information Day, held in Cape Town on 23 January 2020, were upfront about the stark realities facing the industry, while advising on the way forward. Close to 850 wine industry professionals attended the event, which was sponsored by Nedbank for the 14th consecutive year, with Old Mutual Insure as co-sponsor.
South African wine farm, Spier, won the Amorim Biodiversity Award at the Drinks Business Green Awards 2019 at a ceremony at The Ivy in London on Wednesday. This special award recognises a business that has done as much as possible to advance biodiversity both within the land it owns and, if possible, beyond its boundaries. Each year, it honours a company which can show how it has enhanced species richness within a defined area using clear and measurable results.
The natural relationship between clay and wine extends beyond the water-retention abilities and agreeable pH levels that make clay soils conducive to viticulture. For close on 2 700 years clay has been used to make vessels for the fermentation and holding of wine. Since those first dubious drops of grape juice were poured into clay pots by the winemakers of ancient Greece, Georgia and Rome, the containers have hardly changed in shape and size. Amphorae, as they are known, are today not only eye-catching aesthetic complements to wineries the world over, but represent a modern vinous movement aimed at capturing the natural purity of fermenting and fermented wine.