An unexpected twist has hit the South African wine industry in the form of a new packaging solution called Helix.

Helix, a pioneering ‘twist to open’ cork closure aimed at the still wine segment, and the first of its kind to be developed globally, has just been introduced to South Africa by Amorium Cork and O-I glass manufacturers.

The new cork closure was officially introduced to the local wine industry during the internationally attended Cape Wine 2015. The launch signalled Helix’s arrival in the Southern Hemisphere.

Antonio Amorim, CEO of Amorim, speaking at the launch in Cape Town, indicated his excitement at offering consumers a solution that combines modern functionality with the ancient tradition of enjoying wine bottled under cork. “There is a romantic connection between wine and cork, and it is important to preserve that association. It is important to the consumer and therefore essential for wineries competing for attention in a very competitive and cluttered market,” he said.

“But at the same time, the Helix innovation is set to have a disruptive effect on wine consumers’ perceptions of traditional wine closures,” he says. “The easy-twist convenience, combined with the aesthetics and traditional values of cork, is set to make waves in the wine industry, and add value to brands aimed at the hip, hot and happening modern lifestyle.

Joaquim Sá, managing director of Amorim South Africa, said: “The dynamic nature of the South African wine market has throughout history stimulated producers to deliver innovative products. This is why South Africa is the ideal platform to launch Helix to the New World. We are confident the market here will be as enthusiastic about this product as we are.”


Joaquim Sa (left), managing director Amorim South Africa and Antonio Amorim (right), president of Amorim.

The new ‘twist to open’ concept combines an ergonomically designed stopper made from cork and a glass bottle with an internal-thread finish in the neck, creating a high-performing and sophisticated wine-packaging solution. Helix combines all the benefits of cork and glass – quality, sustainability and premium image – with user-friendly, re-sealable convenience.

Helix is the result of a four-year partnership between Amorim and O-I, during which both companies drew on their respective capabilities for innovation and their expertise in serving global wine markets, gained from a heritage stretching back more than a century.

Helix can quickly and easily be implemented by wineries with only a minor adjustment to the existing filling lines. In South Africa, specialist wine company Vinimark has launched the first local wine bottled under the new closure, its Krone Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2015. This wine will be available under a sophisticated foil-wrapped Helix closure, a move which Sá believes will give the product an edge in the local popular-premium market segment.

“Helix meets consumers’ growing desire for sustainability and quality, while delivering the brandbuilding and premium-image packaging wineries rely upon,” Sá added. “We are offering the market not only a 100% renewable, modern product, but also a solution that enhances the wine-drinking experience through opening and resealing convenience.”

In extensive testing conducted by Amorim and O-I, wine packaged in Helix glass bottles with cork stoppers showed no alteration in terms of taste, aroma or colour. As part of the development process, market research in France, the UK, the USA and China revealed great consumer acceptance of Helix for fastturnaround and popular-premium wines. In addition, consumers also appreciated retaining the festive ‘pop’ associated with opening a bottle of wine, resulting in major retailers in Europe and the USA already stocking Helix-closed wines on their shelves.

For more information on Helix, visit


The world’s largest manufacturer of cork stoppers, Amorim has over 140 years experience of serving wine producers. Based in Portugal – the largest cork oak forest area in the world – the company supplies cork stoppers to more than 15 000 customers across 82 countries, through a network of fully owned subsidiaries in every wine market around the world.

Amorim’s wide range of natural and technical stoppers is evolving continuously, driven by the company’s extensive R&D process. Technological innovation has steadily improved the performance of cork stoppers in recent years, prompting increasing numbers of wine producers to choose cork in preference to other closures – which has seen Amorim consistently gaining market share.

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