obsessed with wine podcast with Wesley Cable Sr On the New York City Podcast Network

Episode #12 – Carlos DeJesus – Amorim Cork, Portugal

I had the opportunity to interview Carlos DeJesus Marketing Director for Amorim Cork based in Portugal Amorim is the 1 Producer of cork in the world and produces over 50 of the worlds cork stoppers As a wine enthusiast I was blown away by how much I didn t know about cork and how fascinating a material it is You may not realize that cork comes from the bark of a cork oak an evergreen tree that s native to southwest Europe The cork oak tree is the only tree whose bark regenerates and each tree has a life span of around 200 years Each freshly planted cork oak tree takes 25 years to grow and produce mature bark that can be harvested and used to make cork The initial cork bark known as the virgin cork isn t useable for wine stoppers so it s harvested and used to make other cork products including flooring shoes insulation energy production and it s used in the aerospace industry After the first harvest you have to wait another 9 years for the bark to regenerate and be able to harvest the bark again The second bark growth known as the seconderia is also not mature enough to use for wine corks so again it is harvested and used for other products Finally after another 9 years the cork oak bark is mature enough to use to make wine cork closures Meaning it takes a new cork oak tree 43 years to be able to produce cork bark that can be used to make wine stoppers Thats incredible The production of cork is a highly regulated industry so it s illegal to cut down a cork oak tree and producers aren t able to harvest cork oak bark from a tree earlier than every 9 years According to Amorim harvesting cork oak bark is done between May and August and has to be done with precision to prevent from damaging the tree trunk Cork oak harvesters are highly compensated workers because of the amount of skill and attention to detail that s required Cork makes the perfect wine closures because it s practically impermeable to liquids and gases and its elasticity makes it perfect for sealing a bottle of wine It s also 100 natural and 100 reusable Not to mention its CO2 retainability which helps the environment In this interview we talk about how cork interacts with a bottle of wine the importance of sustainability to Amorim and we discuss the battle against TCA or cork taint