100% Cork (100percentcork.org), the movement to educate wine drinkers and wine makers about the social, technical and environmental benefits of natural cork, is launching a new campaign to show all wineries how they can increase their revenues and market share by sealing their bottles with natural cork. 

The campaign, which will be unveiled at this month's Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, will offer powerful marketing tools to wineries that prefer cork to help them promote their brands. The tools include access to the campaign's social media sites, including 100% Cork Facebook page with more than 60,000 followers, marketing collaterals and news media placements. 

A recent study by the Tragon Corporation, one of the wine industry's most respected marketing research firms, once again confirmed that consumers overwhelmingly prefer to purchase wines sealed with natural cork. Sixty-one percent of respondents expressed a preference for cork, compared to only 3% who preferred aluminum screw-caps. Research shows that consumers equate a bottle sealed with natural cork with better wine and better quality when compared to alternative closures.

"Despite consumer preference for natural cork, most wineries that use cork rarely inform customers of their choice of closure," says Carlos de Jesus, Global Campaign Director for the Portuguese Cork Association. "Our goal is to partner with wineries that use cork to help them promote this powerful but largely unrealized marketing advantage." 

Added Peter Weber, Executive Director of the Cork Quality Council: "We believe wineries that highlight their use of cork will find a warm reception among wine consumers. The story of cork resonates with wine drinkers and is a major factor in differentiating wine."

 Although many wineries have turned to artificial closures, particularly for cheaper wines, emerging evidence suggests that aluminum screw-caps are highly susceptible to damage that ends up adversely affecting wine. According to a study published recently in Wine and Viticulture Journal: "Screwcap damage is a significant issue and shown to be surprisingly high in retail at a level of 8.2% of screwcapped bottles. This is greater than the previous industry-wide problem of cork taint which led to the rapid change in closure type." Numerous studies indicate that only about 1-2% of bottles sealed with natural cork are tainted.