Natural cork from Portugal

Posted in 2013, Chateau's Blog

Traditional method of cork production


Cork has long been the raw material of choice for sealing glass wine bottles:

Every year we use 45,000 corks in our production.

Thanks to one of my suppliers, I took part in a trip to Porto (Portugal) to visit a cork manufacturer.

Here is an outline of cork production.

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_03The substance ‘cork’ is derived from the cork oak tree which grows primarily in Alentejo and Spain.
The first harvest takes place when the tree is around 25 years old (tree circumference of around 70 cm at 1.5 m from the ground).
The cork oak tree has an average life-span of 200 years and can live for up to 300 years.
They must be stripped at least every 9 years.

After stripping (which generally takes place between May and July), the cork must stabilise for 6 months.
Après le démasclage (opération qui a lieu en général entre mai et juillet), le liège doit stabiliser 6 mois.

It is then boiled in water.
The cork is then sorted according to caliber (thickness) and visual category (quality).
Separated into strips.
The corks are then polished before being printed with fire or ink.

Many thanks to Vincent and Thierry Dussaubat, of the cork manufacturer Sercor for this interesting discovery.


Stored outside for 6 months

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Sorted according to size and quality

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Boards ready to be tubed

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Tubing and printing of the corks

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The surrounding area

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The cellars

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_28 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_29 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_30

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The tables

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And cider!

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