Ferdinand was on to Something….

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. 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 we all know the best wine stoppers are made of  —- CORK!

So, I did a little digging and found some interesting (little known) facts about my new favorite (very cool) tree and what it produces.

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Cork tree in my garden. I can almost picture Ferdinand.

Cork

  • Is 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.

Sustainability

It is 100% sustainable. The trees are harvested about once a decade after they reach maturity (25-30 years), and only from May till 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.

Wine

So next time you reach for your favorite bottle of vino, 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.

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