Glass stoppers have shot up in popularity, with 14m being sold to 500 wineries worldwide by the end of the year.
The glass stopper, manufactured by Alcoa Closure Systems International, has been selected by 500 wineries globally since it was launched in Europe in 2004. The company expects to sell 14m units by the end of 2006.
Now available in the United States, the stopper has recently been adopted by California-based Leal Vineyards for its 2005 Sauvignon Blanc.
Its design prevents oxidation and contaminants from entering the bottle.
Alcoa marketing manager Laura Clark told decanter.com the rising popularity of the glass stopper can be attributed to prevention of cork taint and a consumer preference for glass stoppers over screw-caps.
‘Consumers tend to associate screw caps with value wine. Our stoppers have an upscale image to them and we are going for the upper end wines,’ said Clark.
Sold as ‘Vino-Lok’ in Europe, and ‘Vino Seal’ in the United States, Alcoa CSI is projecting a growth rate of 255% for 2006 and further growth of 170% in 2007 for the stopper, which was designed by a German doctor in the early part of the decade.
According to market research company Euromonitor, the cork market is currently 341.7m closures worldwide, while 20.9m screwcaps are sold in North America.
Written by Emmet Cole