Blog & News

Getting to see how cork has allowed great wine to develop and age is one of the most satisfying and rewarding moments for a leading closure partner to fine wine. These days one needs deep pockets or some very good friends to obtain old wines with which to experience this reward. Fortunately, our recorking programme has allowed my senses into the inner-circle of fine old wines and be hands-on when dealing with these vinous treasures.
The winners of this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge are to be announced on 30 September. Well-known wine writer and educator Cathy Marston, who has been judging this competition since 2013, gives her impressions of this year’s entries as well as Cap Classique in general.
  • Having been exposed to Cap Classique for two decades, are we seeing (a) a level of improvement in general quality and (b) any excitement, innovation in styles.
Absolutely, we’re seeing more quality. I think our top MCC makers are up there with the best, partly helped by the fact that they are able to travel overseas and pick up new ideas and make new contacts around the world. There is still quite a lot of things we don’t 100% understand about MCC (look at all the trials Graham Beck and Colmant are doing) so it’s very important for bubbly winemakers to have an open mind and to have a good network of fellow bubbly winemakers so they can help each other out. In terms of styles, I think the rise of the extra brut style is good, but people need to learn to balance that with fruit and lees if it’s going to be successful.
Cap Classique producers have until 22 July to submit their wines for this year’s Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, which takes place in a milestone year for its sponsors, international cork company Amorim. Founded in 1870 on the banks of the Douro River at Vila Nova de Gaia, Amorim this year celebrates its 150th anniversary as a producer of cork stoppers, the natural product recognised as the essential partner to sparkling and other wines.
Perceptions on wine bottle closures and specifically the image of cork came to the fore in an insightful study on South African wine consumer preferences, one of the most comprehensive to date, which was published last year. The results of the research by Carla Weightman, Florian F. Bauer, Nic S. Terblanche, Dominique Valentin & Hélène H. Nieuwoudt were published in the Journal of Wine Research (2019). The study sought to ascertain whether the active endeavours of the South African wine industry to portray wine as an acceptable and appropriate choice to consumers from all the country’s population groups had been successful.

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.