Some comments pop up every once in awhile about how cork should be replaced with screw caps or some other receptacle topping container. The argument typically goes to the fact that cork (quercus suber) comes from trees and is not necessarily a renewable product. That would be wrong.
The product that makes itself most popular as a wine stopper, comes from the bark of an evergreen oak tree called the cork oak. After the tree is established for a couple decades, the cork can be carefully stripped off the tree and then every decade or so afterwards.
If you are ever on either side of the Western Mediterranean, such as the Iberian Peninsula or Northwest Africa, that’s where you’ll find this unique tree. The cork oak lives a very long life that can encompass well over two centuries – a renewable resource for sure. Now about that cork versus screw cap debate …
Daryle W. Hier