Proper Bottling Tips
Cork stopper dimensions
The bottleneck dimension - the cork stopper length should be determined based on the bottleneck's profile, because the length of the cork is based on the bottle's rate of taper at various depths from the mouth of the bottle. The diameter should be approximately 6 mm larger than the average diameter of the bottleneck. If you as the winemaker has any doubt, you should forward your bottle specifications to Reliable Cork Solutions and we will make recommendations based on the bottle, your wine and aging you expect to achieve.
Handling and storage of the cork stoppers
In order to avoid the risk of having the cork characteristics altered, the wine corks, after being treated, should be stored in an environment where temperatures are between 15°C and 22° C and the humidity level should be between 60% and 70%. It is recommended that the wine corks remain in the sealed poly bags until use, avoiding direct sunlight. Wine corks in the sealed bags should last approximately six months. The wine corks are ready for bottling directly out of the poly bags. Please do not spray, soak or boil the wine corks in water or anything else for that matter. The wine corks are coated with Silicork (a silicon developed specifically for wine corks) and this is a water-based coating. Water will cause the Silicork to come off on the bottle and make extraction difficult.
• The bottlenecks must be dry during the corkage.
• The fill level of the wine should be 15 to 20 mm below the cork, so that any possible thermal expansion does not cause pressure variation.
• The corking machine should not compress the stopper more than 1/3 of the cork stopper diameter. At the mouth of the bottle this would be less than 16 mm. Vacuum bottling, if available, is the best option.
• Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper maintenance of the corkermachine is essential in order to avoid pinches, folds or cuts in the cork stoppers.
• In order to allow for recovery of the cork stopper the bottler should remain upright for at least 10 minutes before lying down or inverting the bottle. In our opinion 10 minutes is the minimum we would recommend at least 30 minutes to overnight.
Transportation and storage of the filled bottles
The rise of the internal pressure of the bottle caused by temperature fluctuations may lead to leaks or cork expulsion. Care should be taken with storage and transportation conditions to avoid extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations.