How cork is made

wine science

How cork is made

Just posted an illustrated guide to how cork is made, on the main wineanorak site – here. It’s a very attractive substance. Such a shame about the existence of cork taint, and also the fact that cork isn’t totally consistent. But when it’s good, it can help wines age magnificently.

In neck closures – natural cork, technical cork, synthetic cork – share one property. They have a special dynamic of oxygen transmission. For the first few months after bottling, oxygen dissolved in the body of the closure is released. After this, oxygen transmission proceeds at a uniform rate. This could be important in the way that the wine develops, and is difficult to replicate with a crown cap or screw cap liner.

4 Comments on How cork is madeTagged
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

4 thoughts on “How cork is made

  1. What an interesting piece, thanks!
    Do you know whether TCA infection can be detected in the larger slabs of cork and eliminated in bulk, or is it localised whereby a single cork from a piece of bark is infected and others from the same piece of bark is not affected?

  2. Good questions. It has been found on cork bark in forests. It’s not possible to spot infected slabs, but some cork slabs are discoloured and then are treated differently – as far as I know.

  3. Thanks for the very interesting post. Apart from cork’s technical qualities as a closure, there is also the environmental and social dimension, ie the thousands of acres of cork forest around the Mediterranean (and also further inland) are a significant force in the fight against erosion of topsoil and dessertification.

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