Winemaking is one of life’s most delicate art forms. From picking the grape to choosing the right cask. From aging to bottling – there’s a long, precarious process taking place to ensure the perfect wine ends up in your glass. And it can all fall apart at the final step. The cork closure.

Client: DIAM
Product: Expancel FG
Application: Wine corks, food packaging
Result: wines are kept safe year after year.

One of the biggest problems that a cork may possess is an inconsistent internal structure which causes premature wine oxidation. With one of the last steps in wine oxidation involving vinegar, this is a key issue for a winemaker to address.

With Expancel Microspheres one of the world’s biggest cork makers, DIAM, was able to turn corks from being a commodity into a winemaking solution. By offering designed cork solutions using our microspheres, wines are kept safe year after year. Locking in the maturing character as it ages.

DIAM’s need for products of the highest quality is because they come into contact with food. Since this is what cork does with wine, it needs to be safe enough to keep wine bottled for decades without interfering with the winemaker’s painstaking work. Therefore, the raw materials that go into producing the cork must be food-compatible and go through stringent safety tests. Expancel FG complies with several international safety regulations, including approval by the US’s FDA.

For DIAM, simplicity provides the best conditions to produce the best products. This is what they found when working with Expancel Microspheres and the experienced consultants from AkzoNobel. They were able to incorporate microspheres that expands during the molding process and the result was even better than expected. The resilience and compressibility of the microspheres plays a crucial role in producing a cork that avoids leakage inside the cork structure. In addition, the use of microspheres contributes towards the development of different cork structures having different OTR (Oxygen Transfer Ratio) as per wine variety requirement. In other words, DIAM’s current cork offering would not be possible without Expancel Microspheres. 

And looking to the future? DIAM’s eagerness in continuing their relationship with us hinges on their ambitions to develop new materials that are environmentally friendly. They will also look towards widening their range by making corks for very specific wines that needs specific aging. Something our microspheres can help make possible.

The case story

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