WAC 2022 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 WAC 9 WAC 2022 9 3 - WAC - Oral 9 Oxygen transfer through cork stoppers

Oxygen transfer through cork stoppers


During wine conservation in a bottle, the control of oxygen transfer from the outside environment to the wine inside the bottle is a key parameter that determines the wine quality. Many other factors can also influence the evolution of wine during postbottling aging, such as the composition of the wine itself, the temperature, the relative humidity, the storage position, as well as the amount of oxygen initially present in the bottle. However, the oxygen transfer is the most critical factor. For this reason, the choice of the packaging and in particular of the stopper is crucial in providing the best conditions for wine aging. 

With the various types cork-based stopper currently used, an additional outer layer of a surface treatment product is always applied in the final step of the manufacturing process. The primary function of these surface treatments is to facilitate the introduction and above all the extraction of the stopper from the bottleneck, as they reduce the adhesion between the glass and the cork acting as a slippery agent. However, only a few studies have reported the effect of the coating agents on the transfer of oxygen through the cork-bottleneck system. 

A comprehensive study was carried out to investigate the critical role played by the interface between the stopper and the bottleneck on oxygen penetration into the bottle, as well as the effect of the surface treatment of the stopper. This was performed starting from the diffusion through the stopper alone and ending with a more complex system comprising the stopper covered by a surface treatment agent and compressed in the glass bottleneck. 

First, the compression of micro-agglomerated cork, at close to 40%, had a limited effect on the oxygen transfer, with a decrease of the oxygen diffusion by a factor of 1.5. 

Second, once a cork was inserted into a glass bottleneck without any surface treatment, up to 99% of the total oxygen transfer took place at the stopper-bottleneck interface. Third, when the cork surface was coated with a paraffin-silicone mixture, there was almost no oxygen transfer at the interface. A coating with a thickness of less than 1 µm thus provided an efficient barrier for the stopper-bottleneck interface system to act against gas transfer at the interface. In addition to its initial role of ensuring easier uncorking, the surface coating therefore confers an additional and unexpected barrier efficiency to the wine sealing system.


Publication date: June 14, 2022

Issue: WAC 2022

Type: Article


Julie Chanut, Jean-Pierre Bellat, Régis D. Gougeon, Thomas Karbowiak

Presenting author

Julie Chanut – Agrosup Dijon, UMR PAM

Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Carnot de Bourgogne, UMR 6303 CNRS | Agrosup Dijon, UMR PAM, Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin | Agrosup Dijon, UMR PAM

Contact the author


gas transfer, oxygen, agglomerated cork, interface, surface treatment


IVES Conference Series | WAC 2022


Related articles…

The effects of reducing herbicides in New Zealand vineyards

Herbicides are commonly sprayed in the vine row to prevent competition with vines for water and minerals and to keep weeds from growing into the bunch zone. Sprays are applied before budbreak and reapplied multiple times during the season to keep the undervine bare. There is growing concern about the negative effects of herbicides on humans and the environment, and weeds in New Zealand have developed resistance to herbicides. Therefore, it is imperative that we reduce our reliance on herbicides in viticulture and incorporate methods that do not engender resistance.

Banques de données biologiques annuelles par terroir et optimisation des itinéraires culturaux

In addition to studies on the edaphic and landscape characteristics of the environment (Dolédec, 1995), the characterization of the physiology of the vine and of parasitism during its vegetative cycle represents an essential component of knowledge and management of the terroirs.

Microbial stabilization of wines using innovative coiled UV-C reactor process: impact on chemical and organoleptic proprieties

For several years, numerous studies aimed at limiting the use of SO2 in wines (thermal treatments, pulsed electric fields, microwaves …). Processes must be able to preserve the organoleptic qualities of wines with low energy consumption. In this context, ultraviolet radiations (UV-C), at 254 nm, are well known for their germicidal proprieties. In order to inactivate microorganisms in grape juice and wine without affecting the quality of the product, efficiency of UV-C treatment process should be optimized.

Use of computational modelling for selecting adsorbents for improved fining of wine

The occurrence of faults and taints in wine, such as those caused by microbial spoilage or various taints, have resulted in significant financial losses to wine producers. The wine industry commits significant financial resources towards fining and taint removal processes each year. Fining involves the addition of one or more adsorptive substrates to juice or wine to bind certain components, thus reducing their concentration [1]. However, these processes are often not selective and can also remove desirable flavour and aroma compounds.

A 4D high resolution vineyard soil assessment for soil-hydrological interpretation in combination with automated data analysis and visualization to manage site-specific grape and wine quality

A Visual Information eNvironment for Effective agricultural management and Sustainability (VINES) is under development, which can provide significant competitive advantages to winegrowers by sustaining their appellation-specific grape and wine qualities and yields while measurably conserving water resources.