The New Zork Cork

With Cork Disappearing Zork Cork has Come to the Rescue

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Not Cork - Zork

The Zork Cork


bigail Schwerin is her father’s daughter. She shares winemaking responsibilities with her Dad, Bill Schwerin, a third generation farmer turned winemaker. Together, they head up Sapolil Cellars, a boutique winery in a small corner of Walla Walla Valley in Washington State that’s dedicated to creating hand-crafted wines with fruit only from area vineyards.

The Sapolil brand is named after a Native American Indian who played an integral role in the construction of the unique ‘rawhide railway’ on which rawhide was used in place of iron or steel rails. Carrying forth the territory’s pioneering tradition, Sapolil has built an enviable reputation for its bold and original Walla Walla Syrahs and proprietary Syrah blends.

zork cork, wine closures, wine corks, cork tree

That originality is given further expression in their wines’ packaging. One of their initial releases, Rawhide Red, featured a hand-applied label and hand-dipped mustard colored wax seal. More recently, their ’07 and ’08 Chardonnay releases feature the ZORK, a state-of-the-art closure that eliminates cork taint, doesn’t require a corkscrew, is recyclable, and costs less than the conventional cork/capsule option.

“We didn’t choose the screwcap because we think oxygen transfer is critical to wine aging,” says Abigail. “And we’ve been disappointed with cork’s performance because of product loss due to TCA and bottling issues, not to mention the expense. We were looking for alternatives, and then we found the ZORK.”

The ZORK closure consists of three components: an outer, tamper-evident cap; an inner foil oxygen barrier; and a plunger that “pops” like a cork when extracted and is easily reinserted. Because it’s manufactured in a plant in Tolleson, Arizona, it’s less costly than imported cork and synthetic and is readily available for domestic production.

Abigail was especially pleased with the ZORK’s performance during the recent bottling of their new ’08 Gandy Dancer Proprietary Red Blend. “The ZORK application literally cut our time in half,” she enthused. “Unbelievably, we bottled 490 cases in five hours. . .by hand. It was the cleanest, most efficient bottling we’ve ever done!”

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