Home > History of Wine, Image > The wicker capsule on the 1880 CVM Malvasia Madeira

The wicker capsule on the 1880 CVM Malvasia Madeira


The 1880 Companhia Vinicola da Madeira (CVM), Malvasia Madeira served at my Introductory Madeira Tasting was sealed with a decades old wicker capsule.  According to Alex Liddel’s Madeira (1998), wickerwork expanded on the island during the 1870s as a result of the phylloxera.  It is not clear when bottles were first sealed with a wicker capsule but some shippers did use them widely.  The practice faded out by the 1980s.  This particular bottles bear a Junta Nacional do Vinho da Madeira (JNC) paper seal under the capsule so it was applied between 1937 and 1979.

 

The wicker capsule is composed of a partially woven top which covers the opening of the bottle and a single piece, spiral wound around the top of the neck.  The end of the spiral is tucked into itself.  It may be unwound.

Upon unwinding the spiral piece of wicker, you can see how the legs of the top wicker piece lay underneath.

The top piece comes right off revealing a thin paper covering.  It was certainly fragile and a bit stuck to the bottle but I soon peeled all of the pieces off.

The paper JNV seal is revealed covering the opening of the bottle and the cork.  Once I removed the JNV seal I extracted the cork using my Durand.  This bottle was sealed with one of the notoriously short, yet effective, corks.

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  1. January 16, 2018 at 7:46 am

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