Interesting Facts About Cork
The best cork comes from Portugal, and the country is the world's leading cork producer. The bark of mature cork trees is harvested just once every nine years. Cork trees are not regarded mature enough for bark harvesting until they are at least 25 years old, and the bark itself is not suitable for wine corks until the third harvest. A cork tree will yield 13 to 18 useful harvests in its lifetime as they are only harvested about every 9 years. A cork tree that is harvested of its bark will, over its lifetime, absorb 10 tons more CO2 than one not harvested. Cork forests support one our planet's highest levels of forest biodiversity and keep 6.6 million acres of the Mediterranean basin from becoming a desert.
The processing of cork oak bark includes repeated sorting, boiling, punching, slicing, polishing, washing, drying, finishing and wax coating, and takes about a year. The cork’s cell-like structure (there are around 800 million cells in a single wine cork) makes it best sealing material for wine bottles.
"The stories you may have heard have been propagated by the alternative closure companies and the wineries that want you to believe they have your best interest at heart. When in fact the truth remains, they have switched to plastic and screw caps for economic benefit with little regard for the planet.The cork forests of the Mediterranean basin have been placed on the United Nation's “25 Hotspots for Biodiversity” list. They are vital to the environmental sustainability of our earth. By supporting wineries that use natural cork, you are making a statement about your commitment to our planet's health, and your reward is a wonderful glass of wine." Patrick Spencer
I personally recycle tens of thousands of wine corks each year.