September 21, 2023

Pile of portuguese cork tree bark after being harvested

Episode #427 – Natural Cork Making a Big Comeback

Well, it wasn’t all that long ago that wines with screw cap enclosures began to flood wine stores in a very big way. Most fine wine drinkers resisted the trend for a while but, in the end, boycotting the metal cap meant missing out on some very good wines with natural corks.

Today, things are changing again. As more and more important steps are being taken by wine producers and cork manufacturers to assure wines are not compromised. On today’s edition of Grape Encounters, David invites Peter Weber, President of the Cork Quality Council, based in California, to share information on what is being done to regain the confidence of the wine industry which had grown tired of having wines returned that were ruined by the dreaded cork taint. Additionally, Peter’s organization and others have determined through extensive research that cork are not the thing that can cause a bottle to be compromised.

There are also environmental issues that make for some interesting conversation. More usage of cork contributes significantly to the forests’ preservation as well as communities and habitats of thousands of plants and animals including the endangered Iberian Lynx of which there are only a couple of hundred left in the world!

You’ll learn a great deal about all things cork on this edition of Grape Encounters featuring the Cork Quality Council’s Peter Weber, including; Why screwcaps are not the most effective closure due to a lack of some beneficial oxidation. You’ll also learn why the Aussies who literally led the charge to screw-open Shiraz and capped Cabernet are now closing their China-bound wines with natural cork. Plus, where cork is grow, how stoppers are made and why rare animals and fragile habits thrive thanks to the cork trees.

Just a reminder, it is inappropriate to listen to this edition of Grape Encounter while drinking a wine sealed with a natural cork.

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