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Sizing Closures for Sparkling Wine

Last updated: 10/2021

Applies to: Sparkling winemakers looking to size corks, wirehoods, and crown caps.

When your consumers pop a bottle of bubbly, doing so with high quality closures makes all the difference in the world. When it comes to choosing the right closures, there are many options and a few key factors to consider. Here we break them down for you to help ensure you make the right decision:

Corks and Wirehoods

Corks

In the diagram on the below left, the highlighted number represents the internal diameter at the top of the bottle (17.5 mm). Relvas standard 30x47 mm sparkling wine corks are designed to work with bottle ID’s anywhere between 16.5 mm and 17.5 mm. 17.5 mm is standard for a domestic sparkling wine bottle (Figure 1). French sparkling wine bottles are typically around 16.5 mm (Figure 2).

Wirehoods

The most important thing to remember about wirehoods is that the size of wirehood you purchase depends on the size of your cork, not on the size of the bottle. This is a common misconception and something that can yield problematic results down the road. It is also important to make sure the belt of the wirehood sits just under the take-up ring when applying cork and wirehood.

Other Considerations

Pressure:

Traditional sparkling wine hovers around 6 bars of pressure but some are less. When choosing a traditional sparkling wine cork and wirehood as final closures, the pressure inside the bottle will be a key factor in determining the size of the cork.

Cork grades:

Scott Labs carries Relvas sparkling wine corks in multiple grades including 2F (middle grade) and 2S (higher grade). Lesser grades tend to have more visible imperfections, but it’s important to consider the retail price of your wine when choosing a grade.

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Crown Caps

Crown caps are used during the second fermentation of the traditional method or “Methode Champenoise.” Crown caps can also be used as the final closure when making other less carbonated wines, such as Pet Nat for example.

Pe.Di crown caps can be a great option for bottling your bubbles. When choosing crown caps, remember that unlike corks and wirehoods, the size of the crown cap will be the same size as the finish of the bottle.

The example image to the right is from a supplier’s bottle drawing. While these can be confusing to look at, the main number you want to look for when considering crown caps is the Finish Designation, which is also the size of the outside top of the bottle. This number will either be 26 or 29:

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