Do you remember, The Story of Ferdinand?
Ferdinand is a little bull that wants to sit under a cork tree and smell the flowers, all day long. Ferdinand is not like other bulls. He’s a pacifist and a non-conformer. The book is actually super cute and has some good messages in it.
When I was small, and hearing the story, I had no idea what a cork tree was or its relation to wine. Now, I’m living in Spain and find myself surrounded by cork forests. I also find myself drinking a bit of wine….hmmm…okay….maybe a fair bit of wine. And everyone knows the best wine stoppers are made of —- CORK!
So, I did a little digging and found some interesting (little-known) facts about my new favourite (very cool) tree and what it produces.
- The best – natural – wine preservation system in the world.
- It is light, permeable, flexible, expandable, and pretty rot-resistant.
- The Mediterranean climate is ideal for cork trees, which are actually a type of oak. Portugal and Spain make up 80% of the world’s production. France, Italy, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia make up the other 20%.
- There is actually not a shortage as many people believe. This is a myth propagated to push for cheaper plastic and/or synthetic alternatives. Cool comes at a price.
It is 100% sustainable. They harvest the trees about once a decade after they reach maturity (25-30 years), and only from May to August. Oh, and it’s done by hand. The trees typically live 200-300 years and will grow to roughly 65 Ft. high and 4 Ft. in diameter.
So next time you reach for your favorite bottle of wine, and you hear that delicious pop. You know the one….when the cork escapes the bottle. Hmmm, makes you smile a little just thinking about it, right?
Be sure to feel good about your non-plastic screw-top choice and the traditional (hundreds of years old) method you are helping to preserve.
Salud to Ferdinand, cork trees, and a good glass of wine.
Thank you for reading.
Love, Kate. x