How to Purchase Wine Capsules

A guide to finding the right wine capsule for your winery.

By Kinnek Community  |  September 23, 2016

Brick Packaging wine capsulesWhat are Wine Capsules?

Wine capsules are packaging materials that are tightly placed atop wine bottle closures. Historically used to prevent dust, mold and pests from damaging corks during cellaring, today’s wine capsules offer consumers a tamper-proof guarantee and an opportunity to complete a product’s look with the right finishing aesthetic. “Although closures are in constant flux, making the most of the capsule has, ironically, become simpler and less expensive with new processes and materials,” says Jane Firstenfeld, contributing editor for Wines & Vines.

Who Needs Wine Capsules?

While some producers have done away with capsules altogether, the majority of businesses still plump for a capsule. While wine capsules are not legally required for retail sales, they are considered part of the industry’s standard look and offer additional opportunities for branding and logo or seal placement. That can help a bottle stand out on a shelf or be differentiated within a product line.

How To Use Wine Capsules?

Wine capsules may be placed over natural or synthetic corks as well as glass closures. Screw caps typically don’t need a capsule, though some screw cap aesthetics mimic the look of a wine capsule.

Brick Packaging screw top wine capsulesWhat Types are Available?

Wine capsules traditionally were made from lead but due to environmental concerns, these types have been discontinued since 1996. The industry has moved into a variety of other options including: tin, aluminum, PVC and polylaminate.

  • Tin capsules have proved very popular for a long time, providing a high level of flexibility, scuff-resistance and a distinctive sheen. However, while tin is still a top choice for many high-priced brands, it’s waned in usage over the past ten years due to big price increases in the cost of tin. The California Wine Club’s blog Uncorked notes that bottles in the $20 range and under most often select alternatives to tin. Of course, product retail pricing is only one aspect of your product, so the right type of capsule will depend on other factors too.
  • Aluminum capsules are used less frequently but they offer a seamless look and crease-free placement. For sustainably-minded brands, they’re fully recyclable. The advantages to aluminum capsules are similar to tin, though aluminum capsules are slightly lower priced.
  • PVC capsules are a very economic choice, especially for wineries with multiple products. They’re robust, reliable and typically insulated.
  • Polylaminate capsules are comprised of both aluminum and polyethylene for a flexible and durable application. Many winemakers cite polylaminate capsules as the best replacement for tin capsules, although the side-seams of these types of capsules make them easily distinguishable.

TCW Tosa Mecc Foil SpinnerWhat Accessories Will I Need for Application of Wine Capsules?

For the application of tin, aluminum and polylaminate capsules, you’ll need a capsule spinner. The spinner uses a series of rollers to compress and mold the capsule onto the bottle. For PVC capsule placement, you’ll need a heat-shrinker.

What Customization Options are Available for Wine Capsules?

Depending on what type of material you choose, there are many customizable components to capsules. What’s right for your business will depend on how you want to display or store your product. Capsules can support a range of colors, textures, logo applications and optional embossing. Each supplier has their own range and speciality, so you’ll want to compare pricing and options for each.


Related Articles

Choosing Your Supplier

How to find them, what to ask them, and how to ensure you’re getting the best value for your business.

Kinnek Community

Oak Chips as an Alternative for Flavoring and Aging Wine

In recent years, many wineries have been using oak chips and other alternatives to wine barrels, for both fermentation and flavoring.

Kinnek Knowledge Team

Cork vs. Screw Caps — Choosing How to Seal Your Wine Bottles

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when choosing between cork and screw caps for sealing your wine bottles.

Kinnek Knowledge Team

Advantages of Oak Barrels in Winemaking

Oak wine barrels are the classic choice for fermenting and aging wines, and offer a number of advantages compared to alternatives.

Kinnek Knowledge Team