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Visit to the cork forests of Portugal

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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