How are wine glasses manufactured?

How are wine glasses manufactured?

From design to production. This is the journey of wine glasses' manufacturing process.



Here is the short video about the manufacturing process. Enjoy!






If you prefer reading, here is the video transcript: 



It's not just the grape or vineyard that affect the taste of the wine. But glass makes a difference too.

Before a mass production, you have start with a prototype. Now, you may not pay much attention to the shape, but each glass is scientifically designed to enhance the flavor of the wine it is intended for. For example, there is a bitter agent in red wine called tannins. This only mallows when it comes to a contact with air. So to lose some of the harshness, the glass has to have a large bowl which can let the wine breath. You should only pour a third of a glass. Then you will be able to swirl it around to speed things up. It's the other way around for whites. They have settled aromas which are important to the flavor. These aromas drift away when they make contact with the air.  So you need a small narrow glass to keep the aromas where they belong. 

A 3D image is modelled on a computer. Then, a prototype is made by hand. The blower has to keep the pipe moving or the white hot semifluid substance would drop to the floor. The oak mold has been made to the glass designer's exact specifications. The glass is blown in and sets in about 15 seconds. They warm up the bottom of the bowl and then add another blob of glass. That's cut, stretched and then turned to make the stem. They add a final blob and then press it into the mold to make the base. 

The prototype is a success. And the design is ready to go into mass production. 

Over at the factory, handmade process is given away to a high tech production line. The main ingredient of a glass is called sand, which accounts for about 70% of the mix. They drop in some soda to lower the glass's melting point. Lime helps to stabilize the compound and aluminum and titanium make the glass tougher. The mix is lifted up to the melting furnace where it's joined by the pieces of glass that factory recycles from waste in seconds. 

1500 degrees of Celsius, material melts in fuse. At this temperature, glass has a consistency of a chewing gum. 36 hours later, it's carried away in heated tubes and then squeezed through an opening and cut into portions of 240 grams.  The glass is still white hot about 1200 degrees of Celsius. 

The portions are squashed flat. Then, a stream of air from above of the center forces them into roughly right shape of a wine glass bowl. The exact shape of the design is created as it’s enclosed in a water cooled mold. After five seconds the mold opens.

The glass is cooled down to 400 degrees but it is still extremely fragile. Each glass has a temporarily layer on top of its bowl which is used to carry around the factory without getting damaged.

The bowl is turned upside down and the bottom is heated with a torch. Then, they get their stems and bases. Another blast of fire shapes the bases.

After that baptism of fire the glass is given an hour to cool off. A laser loads of a temporary base. These go to melting and start the process again.

The sharp edges are smoothed with a sand paper. But they are still too rough to be drunk from. The rims are then reheated to 1200 degrees of Celsius and get smoothed out in just a few seconds. Smooth enough to be touched by lips. 

After a last check for air bubbles and cracks, the wine glasses are ready to be safely packed and shipped. 

In this factory they've turned a traditional craft into a modern production process.





Did you know?
It takes about 600 grapes to produce a bottle of wine. 

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