The cork oak


Typical of the Mediterranean climate, the cork oak (Quecus Suber L) finds its ideal habitat in Portugal and it currently constitutes an integral part of the country’s natural, ecological and economic heritage. Cork is the bark harvested from cork oaks, which is then used to make cork stoppers. Natural, lightweight, impervious to liquids and gases, rot-proof and highly wear-resistant, it is a natural product with unique properties, currently standing as the stopper par excellence for beverages, mainly still wines and spirits.
This raw material renews itself and after each 9-year period it is ready to be extracted and used to make stoppers. The first extraction takes place when the tree reaches 25 years of age. This cork is called “virgin” cork, as it still does not meet the requirements to be used in the manufacturing industry. It is only in the third extraction, called reproduction cork, when the tree has reached 43 years of age, that the cork acquires the appropriate characteristics for the production of cork stoppers. After the extraction, the cork oak immediately enters a long healing process, which will result in a new layer of cork.

Considered part of the national heritage, cork oak forests cover 21% of the Portuguese forest area and it´s essential for the preservation of some animal species, such as the Iberian lynx and the imperial eagle.