A wooden tray holds 2 bottles of Leah Jørgensen wine (Blanc de Cabernet Franc and Rosé de Cabernet Franc) with a wine glass and decanter of water.

TOOLS WE LOVE / for wine collectors

Leah Jorgensen Jean


Photo Credit: Taken from “The Durand at Work” – https://thedurand.com/gallery/

There’s nothing more disappointing than beginning the ceremony of cutting back the foil then twisting a traditional corkscrew into the cork of a special, rare bottle of wine, and then, even with the most gentle effort to pull and remove the cork, it crumbles leaving chunks of cork all around the corkscrew along with cork remnants inside neck and into the bottle with visible floaters. To save face, you have to strain the wine and hope for the best.

It’s important to have a cork intact to authenticate a collectible bottle of wine, as most corks are branded with the name of the winery, and in some cases the vintage year, as well, as a way of proving the provenance of the wine in the bottle is consistent with what you purchased. If you damage the fragile cork to where it totally crumbles, well, it becomes more challenging to authenticate the wine – not to mention it gets messy and more challenging to clear out of the wine.

The Durand® is an amazing tool that powerfully assists in removing and maintaining the integrity of old corks in older vintage wines. This is a very important tool for any serious collector who is going to cellar and eventually open special bottles of wine.

I discovered The Durand® a few years ago when I was searching for an effective system for uncorking the more fragile corks from older bottles of wine. I had some antique tools in my collection – including a classic wooden corkscrew with a coarse dusting brush on the end, meant for brushing off debris from wax that was used as a common seal over the cork as well as any residue, dust or fungus on the cork. The old tools were not any better at removing old corks than most of the modern ones I had at home. A sommelier friend introduced me to The Durand® and it has been a game changer!

“The Durand® is a fully patented, two part device that enables the user to successfully remove older and fragile wine corks whole and intact.  The Durand®was invented by wine collector Mark Taylor who had struggled with challenging corks when opening older fine wines.   He founded Wining Taylors, LLC (based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA) to manufacture and market The Durand® in 2007. The Durand® is named for Yves Durand, a world-renowned sommelier, and a personal friend and mentor.” (thedurand.com)

We feel so strongly about the performance of The Durand® that we now include it as a welcome gift to our Treasure Trove Wine Club – Full Case Subscribers. To learn more, visit The Durand®. Order one online today – or better yet, save $135 and become a Full Case Subscriber and we’ll include one with your first shipment.

Note: subscribers must agree to receiving three full case releases – one year subscription – before cancelling the subscription.

About the author: Leah Jorgensen Jean is a wine industry veteran and thought leader with over twenty years experience. She has worked in a sales and marketing capacity as a boutique wine shop manager, a leading sales person in distribution, and a director of sales, marketing and communication with pioneering wine brands in the Pacific Northwest including Erath Vineyards, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (working with luxury brands including Col Solare, Antinori, Spring Valley Vineyard and Northstar, as well as transitioning Erath Vineyards post Dick Erath’s sale) and Adelsheim Vineyard. She left the office to head for the cellar in 2009 and starting working in Oregon wine production – first at Anne Amie Vineyards, followed by Shea Wine Cellars, where she assisted in wine production from harvest through bottling, and then worked a final season at Alloro Vineyard while finishing up her winemaking studies at the Northwest Viticulture Center. While Leah was studying winemaking/enology, she ran a consulting business supporting the marketing efforts of local wineries including R. Stuart & Co., Le Cadeau, WillaKenzie Estate. At the same time, Leah was a contributing writer for Oregon Wine Press, Wine Press Northwest, Northwest Woman Magazine, theantitourist.com and The Wine Country Guidebook. Leah founded Leah Jorgensen Cellars in 2011 as the Pacific Northwest’s Premier Cabernet Franc producer, the only Oregon winemaker dedicated to Cabernet Franc, and was named to San Francisco Chronicle’s “Winemakers to Watch” (2015), Wine Enthusiast’s “Oregon’s Cutting Edge Winemakers” (2018), Food & Wine’s “Top 15 Women Winemakers in the World” (2018), among other “top wine” lists and content for Oregon Wine Press, Portland Monthly, 1859 Oregon, Sip, Sunset, and Forbes. She is a tenth generation winemaker on her maternal side (former Marchese Stravino, Campania, Italy).