Innovation and Quality

Cork Supply excels at delivering the industry's leading quality assurance for top-of-the-bottle products. Everyday we work hard to redefine what quality means and to set new industry standards. 

"We've learned that quality can be compromised at nearly every point in the process from the forest to the bottle. So it's critical that we have total control at every point."

Jochen Michalski President, Cork Supply

Our customers demand the highest quality, and know they can trust Cork Supply to deliver it. Our unrivalled passion for quality assurance is visible in every action we take, from the forest to your bottle. Indeed, our industry-leading quality standards are widely credited for having revolutionized industry expectations. We believe in earning the trust our customers put in us. As quality leader, we remain committed to pioneering innovations that continuously raise the bar on quality ever higher.

Quality is a genuine Cork Supply advantage: it means totally dependable quality assurance for you:

  • Traceability from forest to bottle;
  • Purchasing high quality raw material directly in the firest;
  • Sampling and analyzing the raw material directly in the forest;
  • The most advanced boiling equipment in the industry;
  • 100% of the production of natural corks undergo he TCA Extraction Circuit for releasable TCA and other off-aromas;
  • The largest number of laboratory analysis performed per cork sold;
  • More than 5 million corks are consumed per year for quality control purposes;
  • Internal laboratory equipped with chromatographers running 24h / 7 days per week;
  • Minimum guaranteed : 3 control points throughout production for natural corks;
  • More than 250,000 chromatography analysis are performed annually;
  • 18% of employees are dediated to QC and R&D. 

Our Innovations

DS100

DS100+

Our Quality Processes

Innocork Circuit

Vapex

Quality from Forest to Bottle

1

Vertical Integration Assures Quality from Forest to Bottle

The vertically integrated systems pioneered by Cork Supply revolutionizes how quality is assured and defined in our industry, ensuring all our forested corkwood and produced cork closures undergo rigorous, continuous inspection and testing at every stage from forest to bottle.

2

From the Forest Quality Assurance

Our unique quality assurance systems reach deep into the cork forest and begin while the corkwood is still on the tree. From early in the growing cycle, our professional foresters work side by side with forest growers providing technical assistance to apply advanced farming techniques and improve soil and corkwood quality. Our forestry experts also take periodic sampling of corkwood from trees for sensory and SPME-GC/MS analysis, maintain historical sample libraries and computerized databases that map detailed forest and corkwood conditions and trends, and hand-select the very best forests and trees whose premium corkwood we ultimately punch into corks.

3

Corkwood Harvesting & Selection Quality Assurance

Comprehensive quality controls and forester oversight are integrated throughout the harvesting, grading and purchasing stages of the raw corkwood, ensuring we use only the finest quality corkwood that meets our rigid incoming production acceptance threshold for releasable TCA of < 1.5ng/L. Among the most critical, pioneering TCA-prevention methods Cork Supply has instituted in the forest during the harvest stage is the immediate removal of calços (the bark most near the soil) from harvested corkwood planks. Likewise, intensive grading and separation of punchable corkwood from thinwood and scrap occurs immediately upon harvest in the forest, under the strict supervision of our foresters.

4

Corkwood Preparation & Handling Quality Assurance

To ensure the harvested corkwood is handled with the strictest quality controls upon leaving the forest, Cork Supply exclusively owns and operates a modernized corkwood preparation facility near the cork forests of southern Portugal. In 2008, this facility was newly equipped with many new upgrades — among them, a cement corkwood stabilization park that is sloped to prevent unwanted concentration of moisture and organic matter, and an eco-friendly corkwood boiler that optimizes resource efficiencies using closed-loop heat-transfer and water-filtration systems.

5

Cork Production Quality Assurance

During the cork production stage, punched cork lots are continuously inspected, graded and sorted (manually and electronically) for critical defects and sensory attributes by our expertly trained quality assurance team. Cork Supply also uses SPME-GC/MS analysis to continuously monitor incoming raw materials as well as environmental operating conditions in our production and warehouse facilities.

6

Independent Outgoing Quality Assurance

No cork lot leaves our Cork Supply production facility in Northern Portugal until it has once again been inspected, tested and verified using advanced sensory and SPME-GC/MS analysis to assure every cork lot shipping from Cork Supply complies with our outgoing production acceptance threshold for releasable TCA of < 1.5ng/L.

7

To the Bottle Quality Assurance

All of the natural corks that Cork Supply sells around the world are supplied by our facility in Portugal. In between Portugal and your bottle, Cork Supply owns and operates modernized cork finishing facilities in North and South America, Australia, South Africa and Europe. Our local experts, inventories and operations enable us to provide prompt, personal, customized service locally — ensuring top quality support comes with our top quality products.

In each locale, as in Portugal, Cork Supply institutes our strict integrated quality assurance systems, ensures 100% traceability, monitors incoming raw materials and operational environment conditions, and maintains an advanced technical laboratory that inspects, tests and analyzes every cork lot shipped from Portugal. Before our corks are delivered to your winery in sterilized bags sealed with SO2 (accompanied by a Quality Assurance Report), they undergo additional rounds of local incoming and outgoing sensory testing and SPME-GC/MS analysis to ensure they remain within our acceptance threshold for releasable TCA of < 1.5 ng/L. Finally, we offer our customers expert technical assistance to help your team identify and manage critical quality control factors at your winery.

So you see, quality assurance from Cork Supply really does mean quality from forest to bottle.

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