Closure company Diam Bouchage has launched a new more sustainable version of its technical corks. Called Origine by Diam, it replaces the small amounts of synthetic micro-spheres and binders with natural ingredients, using rapeseed oil and beeswax. The new closure also offers producers the option of slightly higher closure permeability, offering another tool to winemakers in managing their wine styles.
See Harpers news article online here.
The new closure, along with its ingredients. Suberin from natural cork bark, plus small amounts of rapeseed oil derived microspheres and beeswax binder.
Diam has been increasing its share of the closure market by around 100 to 200 million closures per year, and highlights significant share of Grand Cru Burgundy ( 35%) and Champagne (20%) as evidence that winemakers are happy with the quality and consistency of Diam closures. A visit in March to the closure factory at Ceret in Southern France showed significant testing regimes for structural consistency and anticipated life span, permeability to oxygen, resistance to liquid and testing for consistency of turning force required for Mytik sparking wine closures. The patented Diamant process using super critical carbon dioxide at 100 bars pressure guarantees freedom from TCA or cork taint. The new closure will join the premium Diam 10 and Diam 30 ranges and will be around 30% more expensive to buy due to high cost of the raw materials, but still comparable to a high quality natural cork.
So just a few images to show the difference between making a standard cork and the Diam process.
This is how corks are traditionally made – bark planks from the cork oak, with the corks directly punched out of it, complete with all the natural variation in elasticity and challenges of contamination.
Then the Diam approach, which involves grinding up the natural cork bark into tiny pieces, removing all the lignin and other contaminants and leaving fine granules of suberin only. This is then purified through the Diamant process, before being moulded into shape with the addition of microspheres (these stop wine soaking into the closure) and a binding agent.
Below images show newly moulded corks, pressure testing and oxygen permeability testing, quality control inspection, then staining with methylene blue to test for permeability to liquid.
The Diamant process is patented but involves use of supercritical carbon dioxide to remove all traces of TCA.
Finally some of Diam’s customers.