10 facts about cork!
- Cork comes from the bark of Cork Oak Trees, an evergreen that grows to around 20m high.
- Cork oak trees are not cut down, they are hand harvested annually for 10-12 years.
- A cork tree harvested of its bark will absorb 10 tons more CO2 during its ‘life cycle’ than one not harvested!
- Cork forests contribute and support forestry biodiversity by protecting 6.6ML acres of Mediterranean basin from becoming a desert!
- Portugal produces around 50% of the cork production with Corticeira Amorium dominating the market.
- In the 18th Century, Englishman Robert Hooke invented the ‘cork’ wine bottle stopper.
- Cork is flexible, elastic, light, compressible and has the ability to thermally insulate as well as allowing microscopic amounts of O2 into the wine – vital for long term wine maturation.
- Only around 1% of wines are affected by cork taint!
- Champagne/Sparkling wine corks are wider in diameter to help them cope with the higher internal pressures and are also straight when inserted before ‘mushrooming’.
- Cork lengths vary from 25-60mm (the longer the cork the longer it’s capability to remain intact and viable.