De Cultores

Cork oak: the key aspects

Es el tapón más tradicional para los vinos e insoslayables para los ejemplares top. ¿Cómo se fabrican los corchos y cuáles son sus propiedades? It is the most traditional wine stopper, unavoidable for top quality products. How are corks made? Which are their characteristics?

Cork is the traditional stopper with which wine bottles have always been sealed in Argentina. The best parts of the oak bark, a medium-sized tree whose wood is heavy and hard, are carefully selected for its manufacturing process. First of all, the tree bark is boiled in water to increase its thickness and obtain a more flexible texture. After that, they are compressed, left to stand for them to be sufficiently flat, and shred with a thickness suitable for the future cork’s size. Finally, they are shaped in the form of cylinder, washed and dried; then, they are classified according to their porosity and, lastly, the winery’s logo is printed.
The following are some relevant tips about the cork oak:
• The main world producers are Portugal, Spain and Italy, which bring in 90% of the global cork production.
• The worldwide cork production is of around 340,000 tons.
• Nowadays, certain wineries pay up to $30 each cork for their premium wines.
• A very subtle and slow exchange between the inside and the outside of the bottle can take place during stowage, allowing for a moderate evolution of wine, which is mastered over time.
• The reason why wines are laid down for storage is because they need to touch the liquid to be able to expand.
• This is the best way to seal quality wines.
• Its main problem is that, as it is made of organic matter, this may result in infections, the most common one being TCA (trichloroanisole), a chemical compound that may pollute wine with mildew aromas and flavors, which sometimes do not go unnoticed by consumers.

I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter