Cork is an entirely natural product that has proven its value as a wine and spirits closure for hundreds of years.
However, the potential for taint from natural cork dented confidence among some wine and spirits producers and allowed alternative closures to gain a significant share of the market. The subsequent drop in demand for natural cork has created a risk to the cork industry and the farmers who rely on its production for their livelihoods.
CorkGuard™ technology applied to natural cork removes the negatives associated with its use in wine and spirits. It is our vision to safeguard the future of the cork industry by encouraging the wine industry worldwide to have the confidence to make cork their first choice closure.
Wine and spirits experts are well aware of the special nature of cork production, but for anyone new to the trade it’s a story worth telling.
Cork farmers have to be patient. It takes 25 years for a cork tree to be ready to harvest, but it takes 40 years for the highest quality corks to be ready. Once the cork trees are producing high quality cork, they are harvested just once every nine years. Over its lifetime, an individual tree can be stripped as many as 15 times.
The harvest takes place in the summer when the weather is settled. It must be done extremely gently so the trees are left undamaged. After the cork has been extracted from the trees it is stacked and left to dry – a major reason why the harvest is carried out in the summer.
Around 60% of the cork harvest is used to make closures for wine and spirits, with the rest being used for a variety of products, such as badminton shuttlecocks, fastenings for woodwind instruments and even as part of heat shields on spacecraft.View