How do corks
Cork has appeared in the form in which we know it is relatively recent, only in the XVII century, with the advent of the mass daily use glass bottles. Prior to that, the plug is also used, but not in such quantities. Vessels preferred to clog rags and pieces of wood, which gave content over time, not his usual taste, and even ruin it. Cork is not as swollen as a tree, and with proper treatment does not spoil the taste of wine or brandy, which is important.
The plug is produced from the bark of the cork oak, which grows only in a few countries in Europe and on the Mediterranean coast in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. In other countries, the cork oak is practically not growing. The largest harvest of cork is available on Portuguese plantations.
The first time the bark is removed from the oak after he turns 20-25 years. The next ten years, it must be restored. In addition, it removes the bark only at a certain season when she herself almost exfoliate. The rest of the tree can be damaged. The bark is removed not all at once, and specific sites, so from the trees seem to be half-naked. The bark is removed from one oak can get a thousand congestion. Considered to be the highest quality crust, taken with the 150-year-old tree. Oak that is over 200 years old, has already begun does not hurt and quality bark. It uprooted and planted in the empty place new tree.
It is unique in the world tree, the bark of which is able to fully regenerate. Cork oaks mark, to know when they can be removed from the next harvest. For example, the number 7 means that the last time the bark of the tree was removed in 2007.
Cut bark is sorted. First grade is sent to the factory where they make the plug for vintage wines and brandies, and that which is worse, gets on the plant for the production of building insulation and silencer.
The bark of the cork oak dumped in huge piles directly at the plant. Before you put the cork is kept in the open air in the case of her a few months.
The first feedstock is subjected to heat treatment. The cork is boiled in a large cauldron, and at the same time destroys all bugs, spiders, who managed to start the engine in it.
Then cut the bark into strips and then sorted again washed, disinfected and again soaked in water.
Of these blanks are cut cork and cork, to which is added a binder, is under the press.
The rejected cork cork covered with dust, they are used for the mid-priced wines. A very simple and massive traffic jams, including for champagne, made of cork, pieces which are glued with special glue. Such as glued cork in the bottle of wine the middle and lower price range, designed for a quick sale and a short storage.
make different finishing materials Of the remaining waste. The plant from which the cork comes out already packed, you can not enter without headphones and respirator - it is very noisy and dusty. From the press sheets of cork are located very hot. Once they cool down, they are sent for further processing - is cut into standard plate. If the paste over the room with such a material, it is possible to go even on the head - the neighbors still do not hear anything. Builders like cork and because she, unlike plastic sheeting in case of fire does not emit toxic gases.
As for the bottle caps, then the quality of previously checked manually. Since the plate of cork oak bark have different dimensions and thickness, not all operations trusted machines. Workers employed directly by cutting traffic jams, the day pressed his foot on the pedal of the machine about ten thousand times. Now, in modern electronics factory in full control of the entire process.
Prepared plugs are carefully sorted. It makes this a special machine. He "scans" the surface of the plug, and depending on how much detects cracks and defects, sends it to one or the other basket. After which it is again checked for quality. Then wash the corks, bleach, to remove the harmful substances, and placed in 12% alcohol solution for 24 hours.
Solid Tube is ideal for long-term storage only if the necessary conditions (humidity, contact with the wine cork). Komaltirovannye cork (with spraying) is also suitable for storage, but not too long. Glued and pressed cork allows the wine store only a few years, after which there is a risk to spoil the contents of the bottle.
The cork dries out, it can cause damage to the wine due to the air. Wrong is vertical storage of wine bottles on the shelves in supermarkets. Just a few months vertical standing under powerful lamps in the store - and so the wine can go bad or lose much in the taste.
Only natural cork allows the wine to "breathe", and in contact with the wine, in a certain way complements the bouquet. Bottles, sealed with natural cork, can be stored for decades and even centuries (under special conditions). For so long, "cooperation" with the cork oak, winemakers have learned all the properties of cork, and most famous wine critics believe that natural cork is not only maintained, but also improve the flavor of the wine. However, there are a small percentage of marriage - Natural fee for "naturalness".
From waste products do not only building materials, but also bags, aprons, shoes and even umbrellas! The mirror production is almost non-waste. Among other things, cork indispensable material in the production of rescue means. On the water, it can withstand the weight of a lot more of their own, and practically does not absorb moisture.