Before you start with the bottling here you have a group of guidelines that will assist you in obtain a better bottling result.
Type of cork stopper to use
The stoppers of natural cork have a superior quality and are recommended for VQPRD and wines that grow old in the bottle before consumption. The remaining stoppers, mostly the colmated and agglomerated are recommended for fast consumption wines.
Cork stopper sizes
The cork size should be defined by analyzing the following variables:
Wine type – For wines of stage there are recommended stoppers of 45 or 49 mm of length and 24 mm of diameter, and for wines of more pressure inside bottle, like sparkling, there are recommended 25 or 26 mm diameter.
Bottle neck – The stopper should be dimensioned according the bottle neck, once that the length of the stoppers is influenced by the bottle neck inner conic shape. Regarding the diameter of the stopper, it is recommended a diameter 6mm bigger than the inner diameter of the bottle neck.
Type of surface treatment
It should be done according the wine characteristics (type of bottling and climacteric conditions).
Cork stoppers handling and storage
Due to the risk of cork stoppers surface treatment contamination, after packed they should be kept in places with temperatures between 10 and 25 Celsius and relative air humidity between 50% and 70%.
The bottle necks should be dry during the cork stopper bottling.
The wine level should be 15 to 20 mm bellow the stopper to avoid that any thermal expansion of the liquids creates excessive pressure inside the bottle. The bottling machine should not compress the cork stopper more than 1,5 mm of the bottle neck inner diameter. On other side, the cork stopper should never be compressed in more than one third of its diameter.
The cork bottling machine maintenance is crucial, specially the jaws that should not work in excessive speeds in order to avoid cork stoppers damage. It is recommended to wait 60 minutes before deflect the bottle, so the cork stopper recovers the dimension and prevent any liquid leak.
Bottled wine transportation and storage
The increasing of internal bottle pressure resulting of temperature variations can cause leaks or stopper eviction.