Half of the world’s cork wine stoppers come from Portugal’s cork oak trees. These trees are protected under Portuguese law, so they can only be harvested every nine years.
How is cork harvested to make wine stoppers?
Raw cork is boiled for at least one hour to reduce its humidity, making it softer. The planks are trimmed to size and then punched to form the natural cork stoppers. Seven out of 10 bottles of wine in the world use cork as its choice of stopper material, Ferreira said.
What percentage of the world’s cork harvest comes from Portugal?
Cork forest tours in Portugal
Portugal is home to about 34% of the total of cork forests in the world and produces more than 50% of the world’s cork supply.
How is cork harvested?
During a harvest, the outer bark of a cork oak’s trunk and major branches is carefully stripped by hand – no mechanical stripping devices are allowed. Experienced cork strippers use a specialized cork axe to slit the outer bark and peel it away from the tree. … The cork bark is then sorted by quality and size.
Can you eat cork?
The cork won’t hurt you, but it isn’t very pleasant in your mouth. You can strain or pick it out. Not very elegant but depending on the situation, probably the best solution. Wine is often expensive and it would be wasteful to throw it out because of some bobbing pieces of harmless tree bark (cork).
How long does it take for cork to decompose?
How long does it take for a cork to decompose? The trees typically have a life of 150 years, but the cork can only be harvested every 9-12 years. As a renewable resource you can feel just fine eco-wise about tossing your corks in the compost pile.
What country is the biggest supplier of cork?
Searchable List of Cork Exporting Countries in 2019