In a huge washing drum the corks are carefully bleached and completely disinfected by use of an H2O2 solution. Corks that are used by our estate are mildly washed with the highest level called ‚nature clean‘. J. Tavares Lda is pointing out that the water being used for the washing process is constantly controlled.
In a dedicated oven, the cork stoppers are thoroughly dried.
Since we are using exclusively cork stoppers of quality ‚Extra‘ and ‚Fleur‘, their surface doesn‘t require any further treatment. For corks of more simple quality the holes in the surface can be closed by using ground cork powder (colmating process).
Well-trained and experienced staff is sorting the corks by quality in several processes.
The density of a cork stopper is one of the criteria of quality. It can be controlled by taking the weight of the selected lots.
Why do we use at Domaine Jean-Paul Schmitt only the best cork qualities?
The winery of Jean-Paul Schmitt is growing its grapes only on granite soil. This is the secret for the typical mineral structure of our wines. But only after 2 to 5 years of storage this evolution is mainly completed. Due to this mineral structure our wines can integrate the residual sugar. The significant wine acidity levels are responsible for the perfect elegance and fruit - terroir-wines as you will find them only in Alsace.
Our wines are produced in close harmony with nature: in 2007 we harvested our first grapes from our reconversion to organic production. All our grapes are hand picked and pressed within a few hours after harvesting.
Our average production is as low as 45 hecto-liters per hectare (usually the production in Alsace is 82 Hl/Ha and 60 Hl/Ha for wines from Grand Cru areas). The quality of our wines is determined by the quality of our work (often manually) in the vineyard: in our cellars we control the fermentation process by reducing the fermentation temperature and by using modern tangential filter systems rather than classical plate filters.
It is no surprise that our Pinot Gris Rittersberg Sélection de Grains Nobles 2001
only in 2007 won the competition of the best Pinot Gris in the world with 99 out of 100 possible points. Our wine require time to mature.
Only natural corks of best quality give us the guarantee to store our wines for many years! All other alternative closing technologies such as plastic or glass corks or screw caps guarantee a maximum storage period of 2 years. And this is not long enough for our wines.
And by the way: for us it is always a great pleasure to pull a natural cork from a bottle of a great wine.
We are proud of our wines. Many of our wines Rittersberg Réserve Personnelle are being sold after 2 - 4 years storage. Same for our late harvest (Vendanges Tardives) and Sélection de Grains Nobles wines.
We are pleased to co-operate with a partner such as cork producer J. Tavares who is fully dedicated to his job and the search for best quality.
For further questions concerning this subject, please don‘t hesitate getting in contact with us by mail: it will be our and J. Tavares‘ pleasure to answer.
You may also pay a visit to the home-page of J. Tavares, Lda: www.jtavarescork.com
Photos: © Bernd Koppenhöfer / Fa. J. Tavares, Lda