A toast to steel

The vineyards of northeast France are famous for producing champagne, while ArcelorMittal is world renowned for producing high quality steel. Combine the two and what do you get? A bottle of champagne, ready to open and enjoy - the cork secured with a steel wire made by ArcelorMittal in France.

From growing the vines, to harvest to packaging, France’s champagne producers rely on steel for many stages of the champagne making process, but the cork wire is what every consumer sees when opening a bottle of bubbly.

ArcelorMittal’s WireSolutions division is a major supplier to vineyards throughout France and worldwide. Around 1,000 tonnes of steel wire are used annually by champagne producers in the town of Commercy in northeast France, to make the wire caps that keep champagne corks in place - and ArcelorMittal Commercy is a world leader in the production of cork wire. Our research and development teams in Gandrange, France, and Gent, Belgium, have worked with the steel mill in Commercy to ensure that the microstructure of this complex product can withstand the twisting needed to remove it. 

Our steel – helping make the perfect glass of beer 

Moving on from champagne, to ArcelorMittal’s longstanding links with hops: what do ArcelorMittal Bissen in Luxembourg, our Wire Solutions division and southern Germany have in common? They are all needed to make the perfect glass of beer.

Hops – the female flowers of the hops plant - are a key ingredient in beer, used as a stabilising agent and to give different ales their distinct flavour. Hop plants are trained to grow up wires which support the plants.

The strength and reliability of the wire used is important for the plants’ growth, and the ideal solution for the farmers is a wire that can handle all weather conditions. Simple black annealed wire is most commonly used for this purpose.


Creating a new product

The Wire Solutions sales team has created a brand of wire dedicated to the hops industry, working closely with customers to understand their needs. Together with the Wire Solutions plant in Bissen, Luxembourg, a bespoke wire was produced: Gambrinus®-Hopfendraht. The wire’s purpose-calibred tensile strength keep the wire and the hop fruits safe against storms, wind and rain.

Thomas Wallau, WireSolutions’ head of sales for Germany, Austria and Switzerland shares his excitement: “This is a big success for Wire Solutions. This idea was born and realised within less than one year. It was an excellent cooperation between production, sales and customers. It shows the importance of working with well trained people who know the market, the customers and their needs. We don’t want to sell prices – we want to sell solutions.” 

The product has a lifelong brand name registration and patent, which helped to launch the product through a big marketing campaign. A high-quality, special use version called GambrinusPremium®-Hopfendraht was also developed.

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