Now, the facts of cork. It’s harvested, primarily, from the bark tissue of the cork oak. A cork tree is first harvested at about age twenty-five years. Subsequent harvests occur once every nine years for a total of about fifteen harvests. That suggests cork trees live at least 135 years, some up to 200 years. Portugal is the main source of cork.

cork-tree-with-manBut did you know…

To remove the cork from a bottle it takes about 50 to 100 pounds of pulling force. Does that make you feel stronger? By the way, cork is recyclable. A cork’s afterlife can be found in:

  • Flooring tiles
  • Building insulation
  • Automotive gaskets
  • Craft materials
  • Soil conditioner
  • Sports equipment

Let’s keep them out of landfills. Many wineries collect them or you can search for organizations that help our environment like

You’re invited to join me on a foggy morning in May as I meet winemaker and viticulturist Tom Meadowcroft. We walk through the Louvau Vineyard in Russian River Valley, Sonoma County. We discuss bloom, his winemaking process and those he respects. In this intimate conversation you’ll feel you’re standing and walking along side of us.

The Meadowcroft tasting room is in Cornerstone Plaza south of the town of Sonoma. I really enjoy his Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet and the other wines he crafts.




Terroir is derived from the French word “terre,” meaning land.  In viticulture it describes the unique aspects of a vineyard; climate, sun exposure, soil type, topograpy, etc.  The vineyard’s terroir adds to the character of the grapes grown in that particular place. It’s especially important in single vineyard (or vineyard designate) wines. They reflect the “taste of place” and some can be exceptional, thanks in part to the terroir.


The Van Der Kamp vineyard on Sonoma Mountain