Generally, we all know that the stopper of wine is called cork, although occasionally there are red wines with screw cap, rubber stopper, glass stopper and other stoppers, but it does not prevent the dominance of cork.
But is cork made of oak? The answer is not that oak is hard and not suitable for corks, but it is a great material for making oak barrels. And what we usually call cork is made from the bark of the cork oak.
This type of oak skin produces corks of the right tightness and best quality. Cork sealing the bottle is not to make the whole bottle airtight, wine is a living wine, need to breathe, if airtight, the wine is impossible to mature, into a bottle of dead wine. So the cork has a tremendous effect on the quality of the wine.
In order to ensure the quality of the cork, softwood TREES ARE HARVESTED EVERY nine years. The bark of cork trees can regenerate, but summers in the Mediterranean are so hot that workers often leave part of the bark behind to protect the cork trees.
In general, it is best to place the bark on concrete after harvesting and allow it to air dry, while also avoiding contamination. After that, the cork is selected and the boards that are completely unusable are removed. Compared to the image on the right, the cork on the left is too thin to make high-quality natural corks, but it can still be used to make technical stoppers.
After the cork is made, the machine will automatically send it to the corresponding grade container. Then, the worker will screen and sort the cork again to ensure its quality. Therefore, the best corks are left after screening, and the price is certainly not cheap. The cork will be made according to the requirements of different customers, in the cork above the engraved with different alphabet patterns, and finally become the oak cork we usually use.