An article about how natural cork has made a comeback in recent years made me look for some interesting cork statistics from Apcor, the association of Portugal’s cork industry. 34% of the world’s cork forests are found in Portugal. That means 736,000 hectares in Portugal of a total of over 2 million hectares in the world (i.e. in the western Mediterranean countries). Portugal has 49% of the world’s cork production. 70% of the cork harvested is used in the wine industry. The rest is used primarily in the construction industry.
The cork oak is the only existing tree whose bark is growing back again after harvesting. A cork oak can be 200 years old and sometimes even older. You can harvest the bark for the first time when the tree is around 20 years and then every nine years. No trees need to be chopped down for us to get natural cork for our wines. Read more on cork statistics apcor.pt and on the renaissance of cork on the market and in quality: reuters.com.
Alentejo in Portugal is the region where you have most of the oak forests. It is also the biggest wine region. Travel on a wine tour to Alentejo in October with BKWine. Your best guide to the wine world.
This post is also available in: Swedish