Natural cork from Portugal

Posted in 2013, Chateau's Blog

Traditional method of cork production

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013

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.
Tubed.
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

séchage planche chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_02 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_03

Sorted according to size and quality

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_05 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_06 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_07

Boards ready to be tubed

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_08 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_11 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_15

Tubing and printing of the corks

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_13 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_14 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_19

Corks

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_16 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_17 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_21

The surrounding area

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_25 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_26 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_27

The cellars

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

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_31 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_32 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_33

The tables

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_39 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_42 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_43

And cider!

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_34 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_35 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_37

chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_36 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_40 chateau-trapaud_portugal-bouchonnerie-2013_41

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inscivez-vous à notre Newsletter

Vous serez informés de l'actualité du château et bénéficierez des offres commerciales réservées à nos membres inscrits !

You have Successfully Subscribed!