‘The Corkologist’ is the new video promoting cork launched by the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) as part of the sector’s international promotion project, InterCork 4, which represents an investment of €3.2 million and seeks to enhance the position of this 100% natural, reusable and recyclable material.
Through Sarah Oakson, a name inspired by what in English is called the cork oak tree, APCOR introduces us to cork, an “unequalled gift” from mother nature, since it is, it says, something “so simple but simultaneously so complex” as well as “so traditional and yet so surprisingly advanced”.
Besides telling us about the “love story” between cork and wine, the new promotional video, directed by André Caniços of Bro Cinema, provides important information for those who do not know about the cork oak, a tree that can live for up to 200 years and which is not at all harmed by the regular harvesting of its bark, the cork. As for the cork oak forest, it is one of the “richest biodiversity sanctuaries in the world”, sheltering more than 160 species of birds, 24 species of reptiles and amphibians and 36 species of mammal.
It also outlines the many dozens of applications of cork, particularly in fashion and haute couture. Those who think cork and luxury do not make good bedfellows should note that Amorim Cork, world leader in the cork sector, Gucci, the Italian luxury fashion house, and British goldsmith Grant Macdonald have teamed up with the Italian-Ethiopian artist Red Longo to design, develop and produce the Golden Vines® 2022 trophy, with prizes awarded at the Salone di Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence in October.
“The Golden Vines® 2022 trophy is a wonderful expression of the age-old intersection between wine, art, cork and nature. The intense, creative journey behind the design of the Golden Vines® 2022 trophy builds on this unique relationship to create a beautiful celebration of the winners, the wines and the winemakers that are an integral part of Amorim Cork’s global leadership”, said Carlos de Jesus, Amorim’s marketing and communications director. George Macdonald, director of Grant Macdonald, was adamant: “Given that we work in the luxury sector, it makes perfect sense for our brand to be associated with the best wines in the world. It is a pleasure to continue to collaborate with The Golden Vines® Awards, creating yet another innovative and aesthetically stunning trophy.”
Portugal is now the world leader in the cork sector, thanks to its global exports of cork stoppers and the new uses found for this remarkable material, with such unique properties such as impermeability, thermal and acoustic insulation and extraordinary lightness, which make it so sought after in such diverse industries as footwear, decoration, sport, construction and decoration, transport, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Even the space vehicles of NASA and the European Space Agency use cork.
There have now been two decades of intense international promotion of cork with an accumulated investment of €49 million in marketing campaigns in some 20 countries. An APCOR initiative, which has been supported by European Commission funds, which began with the promotion of cork stoppers in the United Kingdom market, and which rapidly spread to other countries. And to other industries. And many celebrities have been associated with Portuguese cork: José Mourinho, then-manager of Chelsea, helped promote cork in the United Kingdom; Carlo Cracco, a renowned Italian chef, Carlos Cabral, a Brazilian wine critic, and Eva Brenner, a German presenter, are yet more examples of cork’s ambassadors.
In the beginning, the aim was to respond to the “growing threats” of synthetic closures and screwcaps, with activities that focused on the world’s major wine producers: The United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Chile and Argentina. But the companies quickly realised that, in addition to the wine industry, they had to reach construction and decoration materials companies, focusing on new markets such as Canada, Russia, Japan, Belgium, Holland, China and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the USA and Germany. The development of the eco-design concept has made this natural, modern and elegant product increasingly desirable.
Also this summer, the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art hosted an exhibition of fashion and accessories made of cork by Chinese designer Jinky Huang, who designed 400 types of cork fabrics with different patterns, all made with natural cork imported from Portugal.
Webinars on sustainability and workshops teaching wineries how to reduce their carbon footprint are some of the initiatives carried out in the US under InterCork4, the €3.2 million investment programme funded by Compete 2020 that is currently underway. In France, a video was produced with influencer DJ Matafan using the sound of a bottle being opened with a cork stopper, to explain the advantages of its use. In China the focus has been on creating cork ambassadors and promoting the reuse of cork stoppers, encouraging circularity in the industry.