This morning I received a report, entitled, "The New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative -- Ten Years On," and this additional document, "From 100million to 3Billion," which estimates that out of seven billion wine bottles each year, screw-cap usage has grown from an estimated 100 million ten years ago to almost three billion this year. Wow.
Those numbers sounded a little high, so I called Carlos de Jesus, the spokesman for Amorim - I managed to catch him on his cell phone. He was in London.
"That would give them nearly 50 percent market share which they would love to have," Carlos said. "The cork industry alone produces 12 billion stoppers. This year Amorim alone will go above 3 billion – that's just us – and obviously there are more players in the market than just the screwcaps and Amorim."
Carlos said Amorim alone accounts for about 26 percent of the market.
“They got their numbers wrong.”
Carlos pointed out that some of the numbers could represent bottles that were under plastic – and that many of the screw-capped wines are from new brands. He said that while there were two markets where screwcaps really took hold, the cork industry’s share remains around 70 percent worldwide.
"The day they are celebrating 10 year’s efforts, we’re talking about an award-winning Sauvingon Blanc switching back," he said, referring to the South Africa's Klein Constantia switching back to natural cork for its premier wine Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc. "I think that should be included in the debate.”