Assistant winemaker, Collette O'Leary was invited by cork manufacturers Amorim to visit the cork forests and factories in Portugal this week.  The trip offered a fascinating insight into the harvesting and production of cork.

Cork is harvested for two months a year, with the harvest still conducted by hand.  It's a very specialist job to harvest the cork without damaging the trees.  Each tree is then left for 9 years before it can be harvested again.  Only the very best grade cork goes into making corks for still and sparkling wines.  But nothing is wasted - the poorer quality cork is used for making shoes and sandals and even flooring!  

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