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How to select corks and store wine correctly?

Bottling has two fundamental purposes: packaging the wine so that it can be transported and kept in good conservation conditions and allowing the optimal evolution of the wine in the bottle.

The phases of bottling, transport and storage of wine are crucial for its correct evolution and to ensure that it retains its quality at the time of consumption.

Selection of corks

– Caps must be selected according to the type of bottle and the size of the neck, the type of wine to be bottled and the period of evolution.

– The diameter of the cork must generally be at least 6mm larger than the internal diameter of the bottle neck. For a longer maturation in the bottle, a diameter greater than 6mm but not exceeding 8mm is recommended.

– The longer the programmed maturation time in the bottle, the longer and larger the diameter. However, the space required between its lower end and the surface of the wine must always be respected (according to the indication on the bottle).

– To control the internal pressure of sparkling wines, choose corks with a larger diameter than recommended for still wines. In general, for wines with 1 bar internal pressure, a diameter of 8mm larger than the smallest internal diameter of the bottle neck is recommended.

Storage of corks

– Preferably, corks should be used shortly after arrival at the winery. The maximum recommended waiting period is 12 months under optimal storage conditions.

– The packaging of the caps must not be opened until the time of use.

– The caps must be stored in a cool, dry place with a stable temperature below 30 degrees and a relative humidity between 40 and 85%.

– The caps must not be stored directly on the floor or under ceilings that are easily exposed to radiation. Avoid direct or indirect exposure to the sun.

– They must be kept away from odors and mold, as well as any fuel or products with chemical substances. Nor should they be stored in places with wood treated with chlorinated products.

Bottling process

– In corks for still wine, the compression is suitable when the cork is 2mm larger than the smaller diameter of the neck of the bottle and when a compression of the diameter of the cork greater than 33% is avoided. In sparkling wine corks, the compression must not exceed 50% in diameter, as the internal structure may be damaged.

- It is recommended to bottle the wine at an ambient temperature between 15 and 20 degrees to achieve an appropriate volume of the wine.

– Pay attention to the storage and transport temperature of the wine; high temperatures can cause internal pressure to increase and cause fluid to leak.

– The bottling machine must be properly calibrated to allow adequate space between the surface of the wine and the cork, depending on the type of bottle.

– Correct maintenance of the compression jaws must be maintained; its wear or poor maintenance can cause grooves on the surface of the caps and leakage of the liquid.

– It is not advisable to place the bottle in a horizontal position immediately after it has been closed with the cork. A waiting time of one hour is recommended.

– In the case of bottling lines where, after capping, bottles are immediately conditioned horizontally in boxes, the risks can be minimized if the time the bottle remains on the conveyor belt is extended it goes from the capping machine to the labeling machine.

– It should be borne in mind that during transport and in distributors' warehouses, bottled wine is not immune to variations in ambient temperature.



UNE 56931. Corks. Storage and use in the cellar.

Technical manual of the cork stopper. Cork initiative.