In July 2020, the new version of the UNE standard for natural cork stoppers for still wines. This standard describes the analytical methods to be used and the technical specifications that cork stoppers must have for wine corking. The Catalan Institute of Cork Foundation holds the secretariat of the UNE SC5 "cork" standardization subcommittee in which a varied representation of wineries, winemakers' associations, research centers and cork companies participate.
Compliance with the technical specifications and analysis standards described in this document by wineries, cork companies, bottle manufacturers, quality control laboratories or others, it is a guarantee of the optimal level of the good acquired and an incentive for its consumption, as it is perceived as different from the rest of the non-standardised caps on the market. Likewise the standards serve as a basis for teaching and research, providing information on technological innovations, scientific findings and the technologies used.
The importance of standardization in stoppers for still and sparkling wines
The globalization of markets and the increase in competitiveness have generalized the concern among companies to improve the quality of products. In the wine industry corks are no exception. To demonstrate this interest in continuous improvement, the cork sector and the Spanish wine sector joined forces more than 20 years ago, creating the "cork" subcommittee with the support of UNE, mainly dedicated to the standardization of cork stoppers. UNE is the body legally responsible for the development and dissemination of technical standards in Spain. The rules indicate what a product should look like or how a service should work so that it is safe and meets what the consumer expects from it.
What's new in the new version
The new version of the natural cork stopper standard has mainly revised the technical specifications of diameter, length, ovality, moisture, capillarity, diametral recovery, extraction force, microbiology, powder content and TCA detection. New rapid methods for the determination of capillarity and pull-off force have been introduced.
You can purchase the standard through the official UNE channel: https://www.une.org/encuentra-tu-norma/busca-tu-norma/norma/?Tipo=N&c=N0064388