Ever wonder where that wooden small Wine corks comes from? I always thought they were made out of just any tree and grind into smaller particle and magically glued together into that form to cover delicious wines. But boy was i wrong, they are not made out of just any wood, but the Cork tree, which is not common and can mostly be found in Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, and France. A finished cork is made from the bark of a particular species of Cork oak tree, Quercus Suber.
Quercus Suber grows in a limited climate zone, and for various reasons (civil war in Spain and economic instability in Algeria) Portugal has come to dominate the modern production of cork.
In Portugal, there’s a long and rich history of harvesting cork trees. Harvesters strip trees of their bark by hand, using a process that makes certain the tree remains alive and healthy. The method is so difficult that harvesters begin learning the trade from a young age, keeping up a skill passed down through the generations. So, the next time you kick back with a bottle of wine, give that pesky cork a second glance—its journey from bark to bottle is more surprising than you think.