Demanding Quality Standards
Our demanding quality standards are measured at each phase of production using advanced testing and measurement techniques. Pictured above, a test for measuring sealing performance, just one of our many techniques to ensure top quality.
Wine corks originate from the bark of the cork oak tree. Like wine making, cork production is a meticulous art form. Many vital measures are involved in the transformation of cork oak bark into high quality wine cork stoppers. Lafitte is continually striving to improve the quality of the wine cork production using the latest available research.
Lafitte Cork and Capsule has earned the trust of wineries throughout the industry that demand high standards of quality. We take pride in ensuring the highest quality goods and services and we guarantee the integrity of the product during storage, handling, and shipping to your winery.
Current research demonstrates that natural corks provide unmatched excellence for wine closure, and that consumers enjoy the sophistication and ceremonial appeal of the wine experience that natural cork preserves. Lafitte believes that cork is wine’s discreet guardian.
Our high quality production is organized according to the International Code of Cork Stopper Manufacturing SYSTCODE published by the European Cork Confederation and we are one of the founding members of the Cork Quality Council (CQC) in California, and members of CTCOR and C.E. Liège in Europe.
Our Lafitte Portugal production facility is ISO9002 certified and all material used in manufacturing and treatment is FDA approved.
Our Integral Quality Control Lab is committed to using the latest technical advancements to ensure the improvement of the production process
Independent solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) testing is performed by CEVAQOE in Portugal and ETS labs in California to ensure you receive the best possible quality.
Product and Quality Innovations
Lafitte is continually evolving with the development of new technology, product options, and quality control measures. Our understanding and control of TCA in natural cork has greatly improved through a commitment to research and development of new sensory-based quality control methods. With over 50 years of industrial experience, Lafitte’s eager attention to new and evolving industry standards ensures our continual improvement in producing the highest quality cork products suitable for all wines.
To maximize the neutrality of our cork products, Lafitte Portugal utilizes a state of the art processing system, coupled with sensory analysis including independent GCMS analysis for TCA screening.
In conjunction with our sensory analysis of all lots of raw cork, an external laboratory screens for TCA through SPME, gas chromatography, and mass spec analysis to help us maximize the neutrality of all our products.
Our Napa facility operates the first ozone infused moisture room in California. This innovative ozone generator helps to eliminate microbiological growth on treated corks without byproducts or residual contaminants.
Lafitte produces capsules, using the highest quality material currently available, at two facilities in France. We use the latest technology for capsule production and our technical teams work closely with customers, glass manufacturers, and equipment suppliers to meet the most exacting demands of the ever-changing wine industry.
Our exclusive use of water-based paint for all of our products is an important step in delivering total quality and safety to our customers. Water-based paint offers many benefits:
Environmental Safety: less than 5% Volatile Organic Compounds (V.O.C) and does not contain any heavy metals.
Human Safety: non-toxic and virtually harmless, containing no CMR classified substances found in other paints, which have been linked to cancerous and terategenic effects.
Technical Quality: the non-stick quality of this paint performs better on the bottling line for remarkable consistency.
Aesthetic Quality: smoother, more homogenous coverage on both tin and aluminum materials.
Supply & Natural Resource
All cork lots shipped to our customers meet the quality control standards set by the Quality Control Department of Lafitte, which maintains constant supervision of each cork lot, defined by type and size of cork, quality and wash.
A Quality Control Report for every cork lot approved by Lafitte Portugal, including SPME analysis, is sent to Lafitte California where the report is reviewed and potential lots are approved for shipment.
Approved cork lots are bagged and sealed in carefully inspected cargo containers by Lafitte Portugal and transported to Lafitte California in Napa to undergo further testing prior to treating, branding, and final delivery to our customers.
All incoming cork is strictly tested by Lafitte California’s quality assurance procedures and graded in accordance with Cork Quality Control (CQC) guidelines to ensure quality received complies with quality ordered.
Lafitte California subjects all incoming cork to visual and olfactory inspection, while individual lots are sampled and undergo chemical analysis.
During sampling procedures, an Incoming Quality Control Report records grade, moisture level, dimension, visual quality, residual oxidants, hygiene control, potential degradation, density, sensory effect on wine, and external TCA analysis.
Lots are stored for processing and final surface treatment by Lafitte California upon purchase order.
Bales of punched and washed cork are stored for processing in a clean, dry, well-ventilated warehouse arranged by size and grade.
Cork is branded by request with text or a logotype to allow you to personalize the product and ensure its traceability. Daily visual inspection ensures correct color and quality of branding.
Our innovative Moisture Room, combines the newest ozone technology for moisturizing and preventing microbiological contamination to ensure cork moisture remains at an optimal 5-6%, as recommended by the CQC, to ensure a proper seal when bottling.
Final surface treatment of the corks is determined by the type of wine and bottling equipment used by the customer. To determine the quality of the final treatment, samples are inspected for dust levels, sealing behaviour, force of extraction, and absorption.
All results are recorded in an Outgoing Quality Control Report prior to bagging and shipping to ensure quality standards match customer requirements.
Treated and tested corks are packaged to preserve cork in ideal condition by injecting the packed bags with SO2 prior to sealing.
Ongoing testing of air samples are extracted to ensure the bags contain the proper SO2 level for a wine sterile environment.
Routinely, cork samples are aseptically removed after packaging and sent to an outside laboratory for analysis to ensure no bacteria, yeast or mold contamination is present.
Quality of cork production is a direct result of continuing efforts to improve our procedures and products while respecting the norms and regulation associated with the products. We welcome suggestions and comments from our customers in order to improve our customer process and the quality of the products we supply.
We are committed to adjusting our products to suit your current and future requirements in order to ensure high performance.
our quality and innovation...
We offer an unparalleled quality assurance program that works at both the preventative and curative levels of cork production. From the traditional harvesting of the best quality cork oak bark to our innovative processing facilities and rigid control of all characteristics of the cork at each stage of production and delivery, you are assured of receiving the highest quality cork.
Cork is inspected from bark to bottle.
A Big Idea
in micro agglomerate corks
This perfectly balanced system from the Lafitte Group, renders two high performance products, the CLASS and the IN-NOVA.
Precision – Individual molding offers noteworthy physical and mechanical properties.
Security – Introducing the MAXCLEAN system. A cutting edge sterilization and deodorization technology to eliminate TCA.
Traceability – Manufactured using granulate sourced from the production of our natural cork closures.
Economical – A natural cork product engineered to lower your bottom line!
download the spec sheet below