Posts

The Amazing, Nearly Endless Benefits of Cork and its Forests

It’s hard to imagine that since the late 1600s nothing has been discovered or invented that seals a bottle of wine better than the all natural product of cork. Sure, now there are screwcaps and synthetic closures but neither provide the positive aspects that cork can deliver. To learn more about this fascinating, timeless product I hooked up with Peter Weber of the Cork Quality Council. Together, with ETS Laboratories, they are conducting exhaustive research to discover and eliminate TSA, or cork taint, in wine. In this podcast you’ll learn a little about this research and the many environmentally beneficial properties of cork.

To see a video with Dr. Eric Hervé of ETS Laboratories explaining part of the detection process, visit YouTube.

Here are links that will provide even more interesting facts about cork – Cork Quality Council    100% Cork

 

ETS Laboratories

The machine in the middle is the gas chromatograph with mass spectrometer detection at ETS Laboratories. It can detect 1 part per trillion of TCA.

ETS LaboratoriesETS Laboratories

 

ETS Laboratories

The many bottles of wine sent in to ETS Laboratories for testing.

On this page I uncork…cork

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 CorkClub.com.