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The Cork Oak
The bark of cork oak is a unique material in that it has microscopic suckers that grip the bottle neck making it ideal for sealing glass bottles.
It’s impervious to liquids, does not react with wine, and does not rot. However, cork can be affected by weevils and fungi which leads to a wine being corked or having a tainted aroma or flavour.
The cork oak grows in the western Mediterranian and Portugal. Its bark is stripped every 12 years but only the fourth, fifth, and sixth strippings produce the highest quality cork. These trees have a lifetime of 150 to 200 years.
Preparing the cork
After stripping the bark in large planks they are left out in the o