The Cork Stoppers
In a more recent past, with life's improvements and consequent search for better wines, there was a strong development of the wine industry and, at the same time, of the cork industry. This last one impelled by the need to correspond to its reputation, that is of being, undoubtedly, the best wine sealer.
The cork stoppers industry began around 1750 in Angullane, Catalunha, Spain. A few years later this industry was being developped in Portugal, starting in Santiago do Escoural, near Montemor-o-Novo. Nevertheless, Portugal only took the leading place as a cork stoppers manufacturer in the 30s (XXth Century).
Production's different steps
Between the stripping of the bark and the uncorking of a wine bottle, there are many procedures that the cork industry is responsible for.
In this procedure the cork bark is removed from the cork tree. It is carried out in the beginning of the summer, which is the most suitable season for doing so.
Boiling the cork
This is done in proper boilers. Besides the elimination of many impurities, this operation makes the cork easier to handle.
In this operation a cylindrical stopper is punched from the cork bark, after being cut into different rows with the right measures. During this procedure the length of the cork stoppers is determined.
Washing is the major procedure for the disinfection of the cork stoppers. Anaze uses, a couple of years from now, a modern washing system. The stoppers are dust freed, have the pores cleaned, are disinfected, are colored and, finally, have a moisture regulation. After this washing method, the cork stoppers could already be applied with good results.
The stoppres are selected into different qualities: Extra, Super, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5/6th. All the others have no use and are therefore named as "firewood". Usually, the best qualities are used in a bottling of grater responsability, the 2 ndand 3rd for current wine such as the follwing ones, which are then colmated.
The corks are printed or branded with any picture the bottler asks for. Besides that, we usually print Anaze's logo on it as a guarantee and identification of the company.
Treating the surfaces
Anazé considers that cork stoppers should be handled as a food product. Therefore, our surface treatment consists of a careful work through the application of guaranteed and harmless to public health products. This operation has always been submitted to procedure variations so that each stopper is fit to its purpose.
The cork stoppers, when directly destined for the bottler, are packaged in cardboard boxes, containing 6 plastic bags of 1000/1200 corks, approximately, injected with SO2 by a vacuum system.