A few of you have asked why we are moving to corks. There are a number of reasons – some more scientific some less so!
Screwcaps are not made equal
The part of the screwcap that makes the actual seal is a disc-shaped liner inside the cap. This can be metal or plastic: metal allows less oxygen ingress than a cork / plastic is not such a tight seal and allows more oxygen into the bottle than a cork. In the past we have tried both and I’ve found that under plastic lined caps Bacchus ages quite quickly, losing it’s fresh aromas a little too soon. Under metal screwcap the lack of oxygen creates reductive conditions, which can lead to the fruit being muted and other aromas being created, particularly with Bacchus. Cork offers something in between and, learning from experience, I think it will be a better closure for all of our wines. Also, the Silex, Fumé and Précoce are wines that are perfectly placed to develop beautifully under cork.
Cork is a natural, sustainable and renewable material. Cork trees are not harvested but the bark is stripped away and as it grows back, carbon is locked into the bark. For every kilogram of cork produced, cork oaks absorb an average of 55 kilograms of CO2 from the atmosphere. Also, we are not going to use a capsule over the bottle neck, opting for a naked bottle top, meaning we can reduce the amount of packaging we use.
The Venn diagram label has always been our central design focus and we have felt that the gold screwcaps have never quite fitted with this. It was always our designer’s choice to draw attention to the labels and I hope that a naked bottle top will do this.
All in all I see the move to cork as a forward step rather than retrograde. As ever, any decision made at Flint is with the quality of the wine in mind.