Head of af?che of the Vinisud trade show, the cork stopper amazed the eyes of the visitors: artistic compositions, interactive frescoes and a large collection of corks. On this occasion, let's lift the veil on 5 preconceived ideas around this historical ally of wine.
Far from harming the environment, the production of cork stoppers has many advantages for the environment. Contrary to popular belief, no trees are cut down or mistreated during cork harvesting. It is taken directly from the trunk of the cork oak in the vast forests around the Mediterranean.The cork oak is a unique tree that has the ability to regenerate its bark. Resulting from a traditional know-how, the "raising of cork" is carried out every 9 years around the months of May and June.
In addition to not damaging the tree, harvesting cork contributes to its good health. The cork oak forests give it back to us well because "a cork oak that is harvested captures twice as much CO2 as any other tree".as Christophe Sauvaud, president of the French Federation of Liège and general manager of Amorim France explains.
Cork is a material naturally impermeable to liquids and very resistant to the action of humidity. It is easy to understand why cork stoppers were used from ancient times for the conservation and transport of wine, especially in very humid environments.
This historical interest in cork can also be explained by its elasticity which allows the cork to be easily compressed and to quickly regain its initial volume when the bottles are corked. Beyond these assets, cork is also very weakly permeable to gases, allowing in particular a slow oxygenation of the wine during its ageing.
The "cork taste" may be due to the cork but this is not always the case. It is said that a wine is corked when an unpleasant musty taste is felt. Generally speaking, the "corked taste" nowadays characterizes any defect in the smell or taste of the wine. The causes are varied and can occur as much during the bottling as during the storage of a wine. This famous "corkiness" is also found in other food products.
More precisely, the "cork taste" is linked to a molecule found in cork, wood or cardboard packaging. Today, progress has made it possible to considerably reduce the presence of this molecule in cork stoppers, as Christophe Sauvaud points out: "Less than 1% of cork stoppers are still affected".
Contrary to popular belief, the cork stopper is not necessarily more expensive than a synthetic or screw cap.There are different types of cork stoppers whose price range is very variable, as Christophe Sauvaud explains: "There is a price ratio of 1 to 100 between the different types of cork stoppers". To each wine corresponds a very particular cork stopper according to many parameters: type of wine, ageing potential, etc.
Cork is an infinitely recyclable material. Recycling begins in the cork making process where all the cork collected is used, even the cork dust that is used as fuel for heating the factories.
Don't throw away your corks any more, they can be recycled! Collection points exist near you, check the map and give a second life to your cork stoppers! Once collected, the cork stoppers will be resold to French cork makers for recycling. The money collected will allow ?nancer to carry out humanitarian, charitable or sustainable development actions.
The cork stoppers will not be reused as wine stoppers but will be transformed into cork granules before becoming new materials. They are used in particular to make insulation products, floor coverings but also parts for the automotive and aerospace industries. Cork has also become a popular material for designers and fashion creators.
Quentin (Les Grappes)