The Quality of Independence


While we can trace Scott Laboratories' involvement with wine yeast all the way back to 1933, our entrance into the cork market wasn't until 1978. Today, we are the senior North American vendor of cork closures.

A History of Independence

When we began in this business all of our competitors were independent, locally based companies.
After thirty years each of those competitors has disappeared, only to be replaced by new companies that are tied to European cork houses.

Sadly, today the independence is gone--except for at Scott Laboratories. We think this is unfortunate. Independence works in favor of the cork consumer and is the best way to assure quality and value are optimized.

But Vertical Integration is good, right?

As an agricultural product, cork stoppers are a little like wine. Once the grapes are crushed and fermented, the winemaker has product that must be sold. Similarly, once a cork is punched, the cork manufactur­er faces the same reality. Regardless of the quality, a buyer must still be found.

Independence = Quality

Our independence allows us to act in the interests of our customers, by sourcing our cork directly from independent, medium sized producers in Portugal. These are firms that punch corks from wood they have purchased directly from the forest or from pre­paradores. Though these firms are not "small" (30+ employees is normal), their production is insufficient for them to export directly to the US market.

This allows Scott's buying arm in Portugal to be VERY selective, and to require stringent quality protocols on the part of the producers we work with. Every lot from every supplier is kept separate in Portugal. Discrete lots remain discrete. Incoming lots are NEVER re-washed or blended. Traceability is maximized. Quality controls (including SPME testing for TCA) are done on every lot. We know of no other operation like our Portuguese facility.

Because we do not buy raw wood or punch it, we are never in the position of owning or needing to sell corks that do not meet our standards.

Being independent shows its value again after the stoppers are shipped. Though our Portuguese facility enforces strict quality controls, Scott does testing a second time in North America (including SPME). No corks are accepted until they pass test­ing here. There is no question that our competitors reject certain corks sent to them by their tied facilities in Europe. Our independence, however, makes it an easier process for Scott to reject goods than for others.

Scott Laboratories' independence works entirely in favor of our customers by allowing us to optimize Quality and Value without the pressure of offloading sub-par product.

Try ScottCork with your next bottling and experience the Quality of Independence firsthand.