Cork is an invaluable richness of Nature. The regular stripping of cork from the cork oak is a fundamental contribution to the ecological, economic and social sustainability of vast areas of rural land from the Mediterranean Region, where cork oak forests occur and are exploited. António Almeida Cortiças has the privilege of benefiting from this gift.
We believe that the Cork Stopper is the ideal solution for sealing all kinds of wines. Despite the technological advances made in the search for new sealing solutions, in particular in the search for synthetic materials, the molecular characteristics of cork confer unique sealing properties to cork stoppers, adaptable to the different kinds of bottles, thus enabling the balanced wine ageing.
Cork stoppers are a particularity of the wine sector and their use has a major impact on the sustainable conservation of the forest. As a result of this important role, the counteraction of cork stoppers against carbon emissions should be taken into account. Scientific studies on the extraordinary properties of natural cork and several decades of use of cork stoppers to preserve great wines are indisputable evidence that allow us, strictly speaking, to consider it the closure par excellence for all kinds of wines.
Over the years, certain of the excellence of natural cork, António Almeida Cortiças has been steering all human and technical resources to the product manufacture and control, thus contributing to the preservation of great wines and to perpetuating the rituals of elegance and tradition.
Sustainability and environmental impact reduction are the order of the day. So, we cannot minimise the importance of such recognition by a world organisation governing the wine trade. The cork stopper is the only closure option for wine producers, distributors and retailers seeking to minimise their carbon footprint and adopt best practices in terms of environmental performance..
Mindful of the current economic situation and the growing awareness of social sustainability, the company António Almeida Cortiças, supported by a model of social and environmentally responsible management, has engaged in a deep restructuring of industrial infrastructures, in order to reduce industrial waste, rationalise the consumption of water and electrical and fossil energies, favouring the use of alternative energy sources with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions.
The production of a natural cork stopper is capable of absorbing about 7.9 g of CO2, when the entire cork sector, from the forest to the final stopper, is taken into account. Extrapolating the ecological footprint, we can conclude that the production of 500 million corks/year allows the retention of 4,000 tonnes of CO2/year. Forest sustainability assumes a prominent role in the environmental policy of António Almeida Cortiças. The company’s shareholders own several cork oak forests, totalling 1,180 ha, and manage the land on the basis of biological agricultural practices, forest regeneration and revitalisation, as well as planting young cork oak trees in new areas.
With a global view of the product and process, António Almeida Cortiças creates added value, admittedly important for a World that is more aware and sensitive to major environmental issues.
António Almeida Cortiças, follows a policy of continuous improvement, fully guaranteeing the high standards of quality of its products. We believe that Quality starts in the forest, in the permanent monitoring of the development of cork oak forests. António Almeida Cortiças has a team that specialises in ensuring raw material of high quality for the manufacture and supply of high performance corks.
The Quality Policy of António Almeida Cortiças has been implemented for many years and covers the whole production area. The company has an internal laboratory fully equipped with the latest analysis and control technology and managed by highly qualified technical staff. Sampling methodologies and demanding testing protocols are continually put into practice, in line with the procedures followed by the main laboratories from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and the United States. The standardisation of criteria and methodologies and the critical analysis of the results validate the quality control work from the company’s Quality Department.
The Quality Control of António Almeida Cortiças does not only analyse the finished product. During the process, strict control tests are carried out daily to the cork planks before and after boiling, granulate and discs both before and after disinfection of stoppers in process. The internal laboratory of António Almeida Cortiças is an essential foundation for the continuous improvement program and the search for innovative solutions that meet the needs of an increasingly demanding market. The internal R&D program relies on the participation of external laboratories, universities and colleges, providing the on-going projects with dynamism and technical support. As recognition, António Almeida Cortiças has been awarded with the following certifications:
For António Almeida Cortiças, the quality of the products is not limited to visual grade or the analysis of their chemical properties. In order to guarantee a safe sealing solution, it is essential to analyse organoleptic characteristics of the cork stoppers through a permanent batch control in accordance with a comprehensive framework of sensory tests. The achieved results complement the permanent tracking of the chemical compound 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole (TCA). Cork stoppers are a natural product. Therefore, the unique characteristics of each batch must be taken into consideration. In António Almeida Cortiças, the need to qualitatively enrich the cork batch evaluation is fully consolidated. For that reason, daily investments in human resources and materials are aimed at improving our analysis and control process.
The Company has an analyst team, endowed with high technical skills, capable of developing and applying methods for organoleptic characterisation of different cork batches. In this way, António Almeida Cortiças has a strong historical data structure that allows an efficient action concerning the prevention and rectification of cork batches, a fundamental aspect required to supply excellent products.
A complete understanding and respect of corks’ biological properties are primordial conditions to create a rigorous action plan towards a sustainable quality improvement of our stoppers. Following long years of demanding work, António Almeida Cortiças has today, a quality assurance system that combines a stringent quantitative analysis with a specific qualitative examination, allowing us to provide our Clients closures that ensure safety and reliability.
For António Almeida Cortiças, everything begins in the forest. Extensive knowledge of the reality of the forests as a result of decades of direct and permanent contact with the cork oak forests enables the company to control the entire production process, from the forest to the final finishing of cork stoppers. Hence, António Almeida Cortiças integrates the entire value chain in the business unit.
Its production facilities are supplied with technologically advanced equipment allowing the production of high mechanical and organoleptic performance corks.
In the different production areas, the Company is supported by a strong team of technicians and employees with a sense of responsibility and mission.
In recent years, as a result of substantial investment in R&D and more efficient research processes, we implemented new productive solutions such as:
António Almeida Cortiças believes that the natural cork stopper is the product par excellence for sealing quality wines. It has unrivalled properties, with high mechanical and organoleptic performances, allowing a perfect symbiosis with wine. In order to obtain a quality cork stopper, the use of superior raw materials is mandatory. The experience over the course of decades as regards the reality of cork oak forests allows António Almeida Cortiças to know and access high quality raw materials. As a result, all production operations, i.e., the preparation and sterilisation of cork planks, mechanical operations, the deep disinfection of our natural cork stoppers and the complex set of finishing operations are performed with the highest degree of rigour and control, what becomes evident in the quality of the final product.
António Almeida Cortiças is a pioneer in the manufacture and supply of natural cork stoppers using BIO cork, bringing the focus to environmental issues, ecological responsibility and the conservation of biodiversity.
BIO natural cork stoppers are manufactured from raw material obtained through carefully selected forests holding organic farming certification, free of chemical agents. The BIO natural cork stoppers are manufactured independently from the rest of the production process, using advanced technology and without any chemical products. In addition, the production of our stoppers made from BIO natural cork is permanently monitored by a highly demanding laboratory control. The BIO natural cork stoppers display unique characteristics of sensory and organoleptic purity. They are a benchmark today among producers and wine cellars managed according to organic criteria.
Recognised in the world market, colmated natural cork stoppers produced in António Almeida Cortiças are the high performance closure for fast and average turnaround wines. Colmated stoppers are natural cork stoppers with pores (lenticels) exclusively filled with cork powder resulting from the rectification of natural cork stoppers. For fixing the powder in the pores a glue based on natural resin and natural rubber is used. All production processes are carefully stabilised and controlled with a view to obtaining a highly effective sealing solution, which ensures high organoleptic and mechanical characteristics. Colmated natural cork stoppers produced by António Almeida Cortiças deserve the preference of prestigious cellars that choose this natural closure as the ideal solution for wines intended for competitive and highly price sensitive markets.
Targeted at a highly competitive market segment, António Almeida Cortiças has developed a natural closure solution that combines the high bottling performances with competitive prices. Technical stoppers produced by António Almeida Cortiças are recognised for their high degree of quality and reliability. Used in the bottling of fruity wines, they undergo ageing in the bottle for average periods. Technical stoppers 1 + 1 represent the best that is produced and provide the sector with high mechanical and sensory performance, homogeneity, precision and sealing reliability. Like the natural cork stoppers, the quality of technical stoppers 1 + 1 begins in the selection of the best raw material, allowing to obtain cork granulates and cork discs with a high degree of purity. Cork granulates are subject to the disinfection system – AdvanTECH – which makes it possible to remove tannins and volatile organic compounds from cork. In parallel, the disinfection process of individual discs – DEO – ensures their deep disinfection. Its ultimate aim is to obtain innocuous corks in sensory terms.
Keeping a watchful eye on the trends of markets characterised by the fast turnaround of mass consumption-oriented wines, with short bottling periods, António Almeida Cortiças has developed closure solutions suitable for the most demanding challenges: Agglomerated Cork Stoppers. Aware of the high level of demanding requirements and competitiveness of the main consumption lines, the company provides the market with a complete set of agglomerated corks solutions, from conventional agglomerated cork stoppers, to the innovative “Micro” stoppers, produced from fine granulates, with a high sealing performance, to the recent micro-granulated “Provino” corks, manufactured by the process of “Moulding”, with excellent sensory results and mechanical performance. All production process is supported and guaranteed by strict internal protocols of process control, permitting to supply the market with competitive and reliable products.
António Almeida Cortiças is a global market supplier, capable to offer a complete closure’s portfolio. Champagne corks manufactured by our company have high quality standards and reliable mechanical performance. With deep understanding about the requirements involving these closures, the António Almeida Cortiças has implemented production methodologies and processes which allow us to place on market mechanically robust, rigorously calibrated, organoleptically pure champagne cork stoppers. These characteristics are primordial to the aroma preservation on champagne and sparkling wines. The agglomerate body produced from large granules, disinfected through our AdvanTECH system, and tipped with two natural cork discs submitted to DEO disinfection process, guarantee the supply of stoppers with exceptional characteristics for champagne and sparkling wines. A careful selection of raw materials is fundamental to obtain champagne stoppers at the highest levels of excellence. Throughout the entire production process, the sparkling wine cork stoppers are submitted to strict laboratory control, to ensure the sensory purity and high mechanical performance of our closures closures.
ANTONIO ALMEIDA CORTIÇAS IN THE WORLD
PORTUGAL SOUTH AFRICA GERMANY ANGOLA ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA AUSTRIA
BELGIUM BOLIVIA BULGARIA CANADA CYPRUS CHILE CHINA
DENMARK SPAIN USA FRANCE GREECE HUNGARY ENGLAND
ISRAEL ITALY JAPAN MADAGASCAR MEXICO NEW ZELÂNCIA PERU
CZECH REPUBLIC REPUBLIC OF SERBIA REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA ROMANIA RUSSIA
SWITZERLAND TAIWAN TURKEY UKRAINE URUGUAY
HEAD OFFICE RUA DE DOCINS 455
LOCAL SANTA MARIA DE LAMAS