Cork Supply SA guarantees the end of bad corks

Monday, 10 June, 2013
Cork Supply Group
Few will disagree that opening a beautifully aged bottle of wine and finding that it is corked, is both a major disappointment and embarrassment. The use of cork as a closure has always been regarded as questionable due to its potentially harmful effect on wine aroma.
In recent years, the Cork Supply Group has dedicated extensive research to a unique process called 'dry soak' screening. This method, coined DS100, ensures the screening of every single cork for the presence of TCA and off-aromas.

Since the link between TCA and cork has been made in the 1980’s, a copious amount of research has been done to understand and eliminate the incidence of cork taint as best possible.  Normally winemakers try to avoid cork taint by doing sensory testing.  This involves randomly selecting 20 to 50 out of 10,000 corks, soaking them in an alcohol solution, and then sniffing each solution to determine if they detect TCA and off aromas. Samples used for traditional sensory detection are not usable afterwards and readily discarded.

Christiane Schleussner, assistant winemaker at Silver Oak Cellars in Oakland, California, found this method tiresome and the rate of 0.66% for faulty bottles at retail, demotivating. Schleussner did some research and found reference in literature to a certain ‘dry soak’ process. Silver Oak Cellars collaborated with Cork Supply USA and in particular the director of technical services Carlos Macku (PhD, Agricultural and Environmental chemistry, UC Davis). Macku has spent 18 years of his professional life specialising in analytical and flavour chemistry of natural products, food and wine.  
The process is fairly simple. Corks are placed in small sterile jars with a few drops of distilled water and then sealed to hydrate for 48 hours. "The moist environment makes the molecules volatile, so you can tell right away if there’s a problem," said Schleussner. At the Cork Supply facility, each cork is sniffed by a panel of trained individuals, discarding every cork that is suspect.

Owner and winemaker Eben Sadie, of the Sadie Family Wines (Swartland, South Africa), has been using corks that have undergone 'dry soak' screening for some time now, while other South African wineries are steadily picking up on the success of this project.  

"The dry soak method is a great relief in the world of corks as it makes not only the wine but also myself sleep better at night. It is an absolute reassurance of quality guaranteed," says Sadie.

Cork Supply's Hanneli van der Merwe (PhD Agric, Oenology, University of Stellenbosch) believes 'dry soak' screening is currently the only viable solution available for the guaranteed 100% inspection of corks. "I studied the original article and research regarding this method and found the science behind it comprehensive and complete."
The DS100, 'dry soak' screening process will help ensure that those special occasions aren't ruined by the disappointing presence of TCA cork taint. Cork Supply is advertising screened corks for 750ml and 1.5l bottles of high-value, limited-producing wines.

•    A new method for quality control in corks that is non-destructive.
•    Guaranteed inspection resulting in neutral natural premium cork.

Click here to read more on the natural cork dry soak inspection process.

You can contact Cork Supply SA on +27.218813904 or |