Natural Cork from Portugal

We are discontinuing ALL cork. We have only cork for Belgian-style beer and bar-top cork remaining.

We have been importing natural cork from Norcor of Portugal since 2001. Norcor produces over 150 million corks annually from a state-of-the-art facility operating under strict sanitary codes.

  • Ozone, ethanol, and SO2 treatment processes to ensure against taint
  • Peroxide washed for sterility. No chlorine
  • Surface treatment (paraffin and silicone) for easy corking and better seal
  • Cork packed in sterile SO2 filled bags
  • All corks pass a final vast inspection plan through four in-house laboratories
  • Technical Report containing laboratory results for each lot
  • Norcor is certified by Systecode (The Cork Industry Manufacturer's Code of Good Practice)

Corks for Belgian-style ales.

  • 23.5 mm fits American champagne bottle with 16.5 mm opening. (This bottle will accept a standard 26 mm American crown.)
  • 25.5 mm fits bottle with 18.5 mm opening. For example, Duvel, Chimay, Unibroue bottles. To be sure, simply send us a bottle or measure the bottle opening with calipers.

~16-19 mm of cork should be left outside the bottle.

We also offer SemiAutomatic Corking Machines for Champagne/Belgian Beer and Wirehood Spinning Machines. In addition, the Champagne Foil Applicator does a beautiful job finishing Belgian beers.

Please note: Do not use either of these corks for champagne. Champagne cork has solid disc end with agglomerated top, and must be larger diameter than either of these corks.

The green bottle on left takes 23.5 mm cork.
The brown bottle takes 25.5 mm cork.
diameter=23.5 mm
length=38 m (1.5")
see green bottle in photo
for Belgian beers--green bottle in photo
diameter=25.5 mm
length=38 m (1.5")
see brown (Chimay) bottle in photo
for Belgian beers--brown bottle in photo

Wirehoods for Belgian-beer Contact Sparflex California 707-255-6718.
You must have 26.5 mm wirehoods.
Mushroom corks for beer require a smaller wirehood than champagne corks. 26.5 mm beer wirehoods are not commonly stocked--although Sparflex began stocking them in 2008.

As a rule of thumb, the cork should be 6 mm larger than the bottle opening for still wine, 7 mm for beer and low carbonation wines, and even larger for champagne.

Plastic Top—SuperA, for spirits.

For spirits, cork should be ~1 mm larger than inside diameter of bottle.

27x19.8 mm (total length x cork diameter).
This cork fits spirit bottle with ~18-19 mm opening.

The BLACK plastic top is 28x8mm (diameterxheight).

$200 per 1000
$900 per 5000

Important Information for Natural Cork Use
1. Store corks at ~70 F for at least 24 hours before use.
2. Bottles should be left upright at ~70 F for a minumum of 2 hours after corking.
3. Fill level. There should be 15 mm of headspace between the bottom of the cork and the wine.
4. Do not moisten (soak) or heat these corks before use. They have surface treatment for easy corking and soaking removes the coating.
5. Bottling temperature should not exceed 60° C.
6. Internal bottle neck diameter should be minimum of 6 mm less than cork diameter for still wine, 7 mm for sparkling wine/beer/cider up to 1.5 bar pressure.

A cork is compressed a great deal during corking. For example, a 24 mm diameter cork is compressed to 16 mm (and then expands to 18 mm, the diameter of the opening in the bottle). The bottle is sealed tightly as the cork relaxes from this compression. The relaxation does not happen instantly---it typically takes about 3 hours to reach 95% expansion and up to 24 hours for full expansion in the neck of the bottle. If the cork is cold, the cork looses its elasticity and will not relax properly. If you lay a bottle down before the cork has fully expanded, wine can fill the space between the cork and the bottle, causing a poor seal including possibly leakage.