Here Is Tomorrow’s Cork. Even Better, Today’s!

Gentlemen, there are corks and then there are corks. That’s what the founder of Nomacorc, Belgian wine collector Gert Noël and his friend thought one night in 1993 when, after a dinner at which they had opened some important wine bottles that turned out to be “corked”, reflected on how to eliminate the risk of alteration of the flavor and aroma of the wine caused by the hermetic seal. By the cork that is. It was precisely from that dinning and wine sipping encounter that the Nomacorc project was born in 1999. Nomacorc is today’s leading company in the alternative wine bottle closures, with 450 employees and offices in the United States, Belgium and China. From the outset, Mr. Noel bet on innovation, working on creating an alternative material to the classical cork and thus the Nomacorc cork in Polyethylene was born. This all seems so simple, but the issue is actually very complex: the industry is technologically advanced, 2 million dollars are invested today in scientific research with eight specialists hired by Nomacorc , working to reach excellence in terms of wine bottles sealing. Because as we said there are corks and then there are corks, and while for the consumer the problem is just finding the right bottle opener and hoping that the wine is not altered, for the producer this is a key point in the wine industry. The data shows that about 3 percent of the world wine production is not consumed because of cork related damages, but the cork  is compulsory according to most Italian regulations such as DOC and DOCG. Also, most wine consumers associate cork seals with a higher wine quality. At Nomacorc  they sustain the exact opposite: “Our Polyethylene cork allows a correct oxygenation of the wine, there is no risk of a change in the taste of the product, and when it is uncorked it remains intact.” So ten billion caps later, the American company is determined to change the mentality and launched in world premiere at the Merano Wine Festival, the innovative plug Select, the newest addition to Nomacorc that, like a Formula One engine is been tested to replace the cork, as it is called overseas. Only the shape and design remind us of a real cork, for the rest is technologically designed to manage all the oxygen and the chemistry of wine in the post-bottling process. And, touching it with closed eyes, it feels just like cork. Now the next goal is to match the right cap in the right wine. Of course, these Americans never stop …

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