Classification of natural wine corks

Sourcing wine corks can be a complicated business – even if you have decided to use natural corks (rather than colmated, agglomerated, 1+1, or micro-agglomerated), then you have to decide what classification of natural cork you want (extra, super, first, second etc) and then what kind of finish treatment you require for the corks.

Here we would like to consider the classification system only – the different categories essentially refer to the visual aspect of the cork stoppers as second quality corks should be just as structurally sound as extra quality, they will just have more superficial imperfections. There is a big difference in price however and the real problem is that different cork suppliers have different classification systems, so it is difficult to compare like with like. That is to say one supplier’s first category cork will be another’s second. That is why we suggest to all the companies that come to us for a quote that they look at some of our samples, so that they can see what we mean by our different classifications and perhaps compare them to other suppliers’.

The other very important factor to consider is that the classification of the corks is only the visual aspect of the product – the integrity of the production process is really what will determine the reliability and consistency of the corks, so for this you really need to look for a credible supplier. That is why CorkLink will give you every technical assistance and assurance to show you that the corks we supply are made to the best industry standards.

With no universal classification system, sourcing natural wine corks is a complicated business, so please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions or would like to see some sample corks.