Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cork

Some have approached me with the question of "Isn't there a shortage of cork and why are you selling it?"  Well, lets address this question.
First, the cork tree is a cork oak tree (Quercus suber) and it has to be twenty five years old before the cork (the outer bark of the tree) can be removed from the tree.  The first cork is called "virgin" and it is of poor quality.  Every nine to eleven years it can be removed and it does not harm the tree.  The older the tree, the higher quality the cork.  Most of the world's production of cork is from the Mediterranean region near Portugal.   Because of the long investment of twenty five years, when the demand spikes or drops, the price changes accordingly.  Lately, there  has been a higher demand for cork products and the price has risen.  Therefore, if you need a cork for every bottle of wine you produce and the price is higher, you are going to look for a more economical way to seal the bottles.  Us, the users, perceive the introduction of fake corks and screw tops as an indicator that cork is in short supply.  Actually the supply of cork is somewhat stable and it takes quite a bit of time to have the supple catch up with an increased demand.  
Therefore it is a good idea to use cork floors, because it is the cork that is left over from the wine makers.  Once they get their corks from the bark, then we get it to make floors and such.  We have also gone to the point of recycling the wine corks, slicing them and using them as cork mosaic tile floors.

1 comment: