Storing wine corks for future years

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GSMChris

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One of the wine making groups that I am a part of makes larger batches of wine and thus tends to buy supplies in bulk. For example, in 2022 we made about 170 gallons of Syrah and are potentially making another similar batch this year. We are having an email dialog about when to purchase corks for the bottling of the Syrah - and potentially for the following batch figuring that we can get an even greater quantity discount. There is also a dialog about what type of cork but for this posting let's assume a natural grade 3 cork similar to that sold by More Wine. Does anyone know of any studies that discuss how long corks can be stored and what conditions are best to long term success?
 

ibglowin

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Several of us purchase in bulk (1000) corks from Lafitte Cork. We buy the (1+1) Aglo corks. Store them in a sealed corkador with Sulfite solution and they will stay good for several years at least. No taint issues and I have corks now in the bottle for going on 10 years I think with no issues.

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balatonwine

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we made about 170 gallons

That is about 770 liters. Or given a .75 liter per bottle, 1029 bottles.

The simple solution: Just buy 1000 corks, and spread the rest of the wine (about 29 bottles worth) around during your corking festival. Great fun had by all. :cool:

A much easier solution than trying to "explain things". Such as this cork we kept at "XYZ" conditions for "WTY" years so it is "just the same" as this other cork we bought this year....

Seriously... No.

Once you have to start to explain things, you have lost your audience. Better to simply start fresh and avoid explanations. The "expected" cost "savings" by buying forward and hedging prices on corks is not the same as hedging on corn, wheat, or fuel. Different markets. Hope this helps.
 
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wineview

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Several of us purchase in bulk (1000) corks from Lafitte Cork. We buy the (1+1) Aglo corks. Store them in a sealed corkador with Sulfite solution and they will stay good for several years at least. No taint issues and I have corks now in the bottle for going on 10 years I think with no issues.

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Are you saying you store your corks wet in a sulfite solution?
 

ibglowin

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Are you saying you store your corks wet in a sulfite solution?
No, a corkador is like a humidor only for corks. 6G bucket with a lid that seals airtight (rubber seal). Place a 1/2G plastic milk jug in the center and fill it with sulfite solution. Leave the lid off the milk jug. Place your corks in the bucket around the jug. Then put the lid back on the bucket and make sure its on tight. This will keep your corks from drying out and as long as you smell SO2 when you open the lid they are good to go. You can just add more KMETA over time as needed. Corks stay dry but are in an environment that will keep them soft and pliable more much longer than just a dry bag by themselves.
 

wineview

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No, a corkador is like a humidor only for corks. 6G bucket with a lid that seals airtight (rubber seal). Place a 1/2G plastic milk jug in the center and fill it with sulfite solution. Leave the lid off the milk jug. Place your corks in the bucket around the jug. Then put the lid back on the bucket and make sure its on tight. This will keep your corks from drying out and as long as you smell SO2 when you open the lid they are good to go. You can just add more KMETA over time as needed. Corks stay dry but are in an environment that will keep them soft and pliable more much longer than just a dry bag by themselves.
Typically I buy corks in 100 count bags. Prior to corking bottles, I place my corks in a colander and drop above a kmeta solution with a cover on the bucket. The corks are then sanitized from the fumes rather than a solution.
 

balatonwine

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Keep natural corks in the original package, and keep them dry. I've used corks that were 20+ years old with no problems. Cork do dry out over time, but if we're talking a year or three, that's not a problem.

I have kept dry corks in zip lock bags for years and they were "okay".

Well... sort of... As in some were.

Others were full of mold. Sometimes in less than a year. Same corks. Purchased at same time. Same types of bags. Maybe my cellar is too wet. So variables matter... I assume. I do not know. Only a guess.

That is the weird thing.... Anything may, can, might happen over time that may be unavoidable. Too many variables for anyone to say "this will work, that is okay". In the end... To each their own.

So now I try to buy corks only when I need them.

Storage seems too much a bother for me. And I have already too many bothers to deal with to add storing corks into the mix.

But that is just me.... Again, to each their own. :cool:

Hope this helps.
 

Boatboy24

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Like @ibglowin , I buy from Lafitte in lots of 1,000. When they arrive, they are in a sealed bag that appears to have some sort of sulfite (based on smell). I break them down into lots of ~100, then vacuum seal them. They seem to last pretty well in that vac sealed bag.
 
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