When one heads out west through the Straight of Juan de Fuca towards the Pacific Ocean from the Puget Sound, you will travel by a town called Port Angeles which sits at the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula. In an area they like to call ‘The Authentic Northwest’, you will naturally find boating, ferry’s, tankers and cruise ships. Logging is obviously big in these parts as well but oddly enough, an invention very far from these activities called a HiTech Wine Barrel Bung for fitting in a wine barrel hole has been patented and is for sale. Yea, how did this happen in the very far reaches of the Pacific Northwest?
The inventor is Don Corson, who is a winemaker and the owner of Camaraderie Cellars. Although not yet readily available, the stylistic product is actually called the Lux Barrel Bung and does the job of closing the bung opening on a wine barrel. However, it also does more than an efficient job than most bung stoppers as it combines the best that synthetics offer with the beauty of a glass stopper. And the cool thing is this ornamental piece can be etched or engraved with a name.
Mr. Corson has been making wine for more than two decades and found that although glass barrel bungs are beautiful to look at, they don’t work very well. It took him over two years of work and designing the just recently patented bung that could efficiently plug the hole and fit in multiple sizes and shapes while still able to have an attractive glass stopper. As Don says on his website,
“The bung to me is like the wine I make. I won’t make a wine I’m not passionate about. And I’m not going to make a barrel bung I wouldn’t be proud to use myself.”
Glass bung plugs are actually traditional and date back many centuries ago. Because glass isn’t reactionary as rubber or plastic might be, it doesn’t impart reactivity to any product including wine. As long as you don’t drop and break them, they can last much longer than their malleable opposites. Silicone bung stoppers have become very common but this new alternative will likely be the rage with everyone wanting one for their barrels. Plus, note that the silicone cap that the glass sits inside of has replacements, so if it wears out after some years of use, just replace the cap.
Mr. Corson told me he didn’t set out to get rich on his invention and therefore availability is very limited. Again, these glass barrel bungs can be engraved, which makes them a great gift as well. Certainly, the Lux Barrel Bung is precisely sophisticated in its overall performance as well as looks. I want one.
You want one? Go here to check them out.
Daryle W. Hier