Amorim does not believe there is a single ‘magic wand’ solution to the problem of TCA. Rather, its strategy is to protect against TCA contamination at every stage of cork production and distribution. The company has instituted a range of preventive and curative measures across the production and distribution chain.
As part of its preventive strategy Amorim has introduced improvements at all stage of production, including:
new cork purchasing and selection procedures;
rigorous controls on storage and seasoning of raw corkwood;
a completely new boiling system for washing the corkwood, including the revolutionary CONVEX® system for trapping and removing volatile compounds such as TCA;
the INOS II process for washing the discs for Twin Top® and champagne corks.
In quality control, Amorim has upgraded sensory analysis with highly sophisticated instrumental analysis using gas chromatography (GC).
An article on Amorim’s quality control regime published in Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker is available (further reading link).
As a curative measure, it stands out the progresses registered in the ROSA®Evolution process, namely the excellent results obtained with the prototype. This evolution of the ROSA® system for application in natural cork stoppers not only makes it possible to improve the performance indicator, but above all it does not deform the natural cork stoppers and thus avoids the later correction phase. The importance of this process should be emphasised, because of its potential impact on winning market share, especially in the top wine segment. Given the good results obtained, the first industrial equipment will be installed in 2007.
Further information on Amorim’s anti-TCA strategy is contained in the presentations and transcripts of the ‘Latest Advances in Cork Processing Technology’ workshop at the 2004 Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference (http://www.corkfacts.com/presentn.htm).