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Klein Constantia moves back to cork


One of South Africa’s best known vineyards is returning to natural cork to seal it’s premier wine Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc, which is exported globally.

Adam Mason, Klein Constantia’s head winemaker explained: “With this style of maturation, there is a higher risk of developing sulphide characters, which – in my opinion – is exacerbated even further under screw cap. However, I have not experienced this problem since using cork as a closure.”  

“We originally switched to screw cap because of the unacceptably high failure rate of cork back then. But, in over the last few years, I have seen a marked improvement in cork’s performance, so feel the low risk of cork failure more than compensates for the inevitable development of slightly reduced characters in this wine when closed under screw cap.”

Carlos de Jesus, head of communication for cork supplier Amorim, added: “Recent product development now enables us to offer the very best in performance and customer quality expectation. Research by Bordeaux University proves just how well today’s natural cork stoppers seal white wines, as well as red, and also how vital the micro-oxygen transfer is to maturing a wine. In addition, being 100% natural, recyclable and biodegradable, cork closures play a key role in a winery’s sustainability credentials.

Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc spends almost 10 months lees before bottling, then 10 months in bottle before release.

1 February 2011 - Felicity Murray