Cork Trees in Andalucia, Spain

Yesterdays post about Fine Wines in Sancerre, France got me thinking about the cork that is used to stopper the wine bottles.

Part of the excitement when travelling is discovering tidbits of information about something that we take for granted; cork for instance. I have always known that cork was a renewable bark and stoppered the fine bottles of wine that I purchase, was used for flooring and corkboards and likely numerous other products but living here in North America I hadn’t thought much about cork trees, I don’t even know if we grow them. How do they harvest the bark and what does the cork tree look like? Well, I finally found out when lost in a valley somewhere in Andalucía, Spain, maybe near Gaucín? What struck me most was the colour of the trees right after the bark has been removed. Pretty cool!

Barked cork tree in Andalucia, Spain

Barked cork tree in Andalucia, Spain

Drying cork bark in Andalucia, Spain

Drying cork bark in Andalucia, Spain

The finished product somewhere in Paris

The finished product somewhere in Paris

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6 Responses to “Cork Trees in Andalucia, Spain”

  1. D. Travis North says:

    Wow…that’s pretty interesting. I had no idea the tree would have that sort of color. Even more odd, I would have expected the inside of the bark to match the tree’s color after harvesting. Great photos and awesome commentary. Thanks for sharing (and yes, I’m still following your blog – when are you getting on twitter?)

    kevin Reply:

    Hi Travis,

    The colour sure caught me by surprise. I wish I had more time to do photography as some of the trees were huge. Unfortunately my wife was sick that week.

    I keep an eye on your blog as well. Looks great and yes, I should get on twitter. I have an account just don’t get around to using it!

  2. Gonçalo Oliveira Simões says:

    Hi Kevin,
    You must see the most interesting documentary about portuguese forest and cork oak trees from BBC Natural World, called “Cork: forest in a bottle”.
    I tried to find the inglish version but i couldn´t find it, so I send you the portuguese one.
    http://www.ecologicalcork.com/2009/02/25/documentario-cork-forest-in-a-bottle/
    Did you know that Portugal is the first producer and exporter of cork and cork stoppers of the world?
    Amazing images, with unique explanation how the “montado” works.
    If you are interested, and if you need any help, please contact me.

    Best regards

    Gonçalo Oliveira Simões

    kevin Reply:

    Thanks for the info, I’ll watch the video, looks very interesting. Hopefully I can locate an English copy but I’m sure I’ll get enough out of the Portugese version to enjoy it as well.

  3. Patrick Spencer says:

    Kevin,
    What wonderful pictures! Thank you for bringing attention to these remarkable forests.
    The more people know about how important these forests are the greater our chances are to save them.

  4. Barbara says:

    Wow I didn’t know cork was even harvested! So that’s what it looks like..I would have never known. Thanks for taking pictures and opening my eyes to something like this! Keep it up!
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Sectional Slipcovers =-.

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