Every aspect of our wine presentation at Terre Di San Vito has been carefully thought out and designed. We aim – wherever possible – to use traditional methods and maintain the history and traditions of our country.
Cork has been the traditional choice for sealing wine bottles for centuries. It became popular in the 17th and 18th centuries when glass bottles began gaining in popularity. The primary purpose of the cork is to seal the wine in the bottle so as to retard the oxidation process, allowing the wine to age and evolve slowly over time. However, not all corks are created equal and even though their role is to preserve the wine for long term storage, natural corks, on occasion, can become flawed. The main reasons being that the cork has crumbled or has dried out and shrunk due to the lack of humidity in the bottle, allowing the wine to absorb too much oxygen and therefore change the structure of the wine.
Cork is a renewable material, unlike the alternatives: screw caps which are made from mined metals and synthetic corks which are typically derived from petrochemicals.
Each year four-hundred million bottles of wine are rendered undrinkable by compromised corks. It takes two-hundred billion litres of water to produce those four-hundred million bottles, representing a significant waste of resources and Italian wineries are increasingly focusing on the sustainability and durability of the wine and the bottle closure production.
The choice of caps is therefore fundamental, not only to avoid defects but to lower the total carbon footprint of the production as well as for better management of the oxygen levels in the bottle ensuring a quality product.
The best corks, which we believe are the eco-friendly, 100-percent recyclable sugarcane, allow close to 1 milligram of oxygen to enter the bottle. This is just the right amount of air to remove the sulphites that were added in the bottling process in order to keep the wine fresh and to avoid the harmful effects of oxidation. This small amount of air is perfect for helping the wines develop their complexities while the tannins are busy softening.
The recyclable sugarcane cork we use is the Nomacorc. It is a new category of closure and is derived from sustainable, renewable sugarcane-based raw materials. It is malleable to a point, with the ability to both contract and expand to a certain degree, creating an almost airtight seal in the bottle which is crucial to ensuring the flavour, quality and acidity levels of our wine is maintained.
Using this cork, made from sugarcane-based polymers, prevents the wine from oxidation. It is a perfect sustainable wine closure to prevent environment from harsh chemical reactions, has zero carbon footprint and as it is 100% recyclable, it is important to us at Terre Di San Vito as we work hard to reduce any negative impact on the environment.