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What Is Cork Made Of?

wine corks

Cork is a pretty remarkable material. Its elasticity, strength, and impermeability to air are just some of the cork’s features. Natural cork is harvested from cork oak trees without harming them or cutting them down.

It can be reused for 10 years before needing to be replaced again! Cork has its downside too, but this article will focus on all the cork’s benefits.

Cork Comes From Cork Oak Trees

Cork oak trees, also known as cork oaks, grow pretty big. Their bark is thick and rugged which makes cork harvesting a lot easier than it would be with smaller or more delicate plants.

Cork can be harvested every ten years without harming the plant itself. One benefit of cork production is that no animals are harmed in order to make wine bottles (or cork boards!).

TCA Susceptibility

The downside for this material though is its susceptibility to TCA – or trichloroanisole chemical compounds- but scientists have recently found ways around this issue by using certain filtration methods when manufacturing corks.

Another drawback associated with cork products has been their “corky” aroma due to high levels of TCA – allowing cork cambium to be exposed. Cork cambium is a thin layer of cork tissue that’s closest to the bark and this exposes it which can cause wines or beers to have musty, corky notes.

A solution has been found though – allowing for cork producers to extract TCA and stop TCA from ever reaching wine so no one experiences any “corky” tasting products.

One other problem with using corks is they don’t always fit bottles properly because each bottle size isn’t uniform across brands due to their varying shapes and sizes. This leads many wineries/breweries to choose other forms of cork closure.

Despite some of the negative aspects associated with cork material, it is still a popular choice for wine closures and has many benefits that outweigh its disadvantages.

In the end, cork is a sustainable and environmentally friendly product made from a renewable resource – making it an overall great option for wine bottles and beyond!

cork oak bark


One of the benefits of cork is its elasticity. This means that it can be compressed and then return to its original shape. This makes cork material a good source for wine stoppers because it can create an airtight seal.


Cork is also a strong material. It doesn’t break easily, and it can hold up to a lot of wear and tear. This makes it ideal for cork flooring, as well as wine bottle stoppers that need to be inserted and removed frequently.

Impermeability to air

Wine cork is a relatively impermeable material to air. Cork stoppers, corked wine bottles, and cork flooring all provide an effective barrier from oxygen. This means that cork-sealed products can last for a long time without spoiling or going bad due to exposure to the elements.


Cork is more than just a wine stopper; it has many uses. Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows in Portugal and Spain. It can also be used as insulation for buildings or to protect delicate items like wine bottles or glassware because its natural properties are water-resistant, fireproof, insulating, sound-absorbent, and lightweight.

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