Monday, 4 July 2011

Corks -a-poppin

Fight back against synthetics and screw caps! Corks are poppin, business is boomin! Good old-fashioned cork is making a comeback.Portugal’s cork industry is celebrating the return of the cork wine stopper.  A few years ago the world’s greatest experts had forecast its imminent demise with absolute certainty. It was a thing of the past, they said; a gift from Mother Nature destined to be overtaken by man-made materials*. I have always been in favour of the cork - it adds to the mysticism of opening and enjoying wine/champagne and It has been argued that there is a component of ageing wines that favours corks over other materials.Many wine producers turned away from the cork oak forests of the Iberian Peninsula in the 1990s, after studies showed that up to 7 per cent of bottles sealed in traditional fashion were “corked” — the term that describes wine affected by a contaminated cork. Did we know however, that when we visit a department store,just  how many varied products are cork related. Obviously on the wine shelves there will be cork stoppers, but in the food hall there will be olive oil, salt and spices all found in containers sealed with cork. Moving on to items for the house we find floor and wall tiles, and in the bathroom showroom sinks moulded from cork are available.Furniture manufactured in cork is becoming fashionable. If we are looking for a new pair of shoes cork is again a possibility. Among the accesories and gifts we now find cork wallets, purses, bags, belts and would you believe it umbrellas.

Welcome to the world of Amorim, this is Madeleine speaking, I'm over by the elevadores between the wine emporium and the war paint ( makeup (usually burnt cork) used by a performer in order to imitate a Negro). Fatima and myself are just about to give a demonstration of the new Autumn range of war paint and accessories.We have a special offer on special offer. A free gift coming to you free with any purchase worth £36 or more. A free gift comprising cork effect "pochette" packed to the drawstring with handy sized oddments. Total in-mouth blot, eye wipe and shimmering cleavage enhancer...If any lady wants a special LUUUUK perhaps for a night out with the latest in cork adornment or just for the sheer heck of it then please come up to the counter, yes thats between the wine emporium and the war paint  and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of.... Amorim. 
                                                
Harvesting cork
Amorim, the world’s largest producer of natural wine corks, registered record sales of 3.2 billion stoppers last year.Its business in Britain rose by 50 per cent, and António Amorim, the chief executive, predicted that even Australia, which led the move towards man made stoppers, would return to the bark of the cork oak.The comeback of the cork is an enormous relief for many environmentalists, who had feared that the rise of the screw cap would lead to the destruction of Portugal’s cork oak forests, which are home to endangered species such as the Iberian lynx, Barbary deer and the Imperial Iberian eagle. Mr. Aracil said: “The environmental issue has been very important in the revival. It is a key argument.”   

      
Cork is environmentally friendly.
Stoppers account for 70% of the cork industry´s turnover.
Portugal is the leading world producer and exporter of cork.
Cork´s range of uses goes from stoppers to aeronautical or pharmaceutical applications.
Stoppers are a major cork product.





All the single ladies wear a cork on it.....



 A Portuguese wedding dress made of cork


*Carbon footprint studies commissioned by Corticeira Amorim, Oeneo Bouchage of France and the Cork Supply Group of Portugal concluded that cork is the most environmentally friendly wine stopper in comparison to other alternatives. The Corticeira Amorim’s study, in particular ("Analysis of the life cycle of Cork, Aluminum and Plastic Wine Closures"), developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Results concluded that, concerning the emission of greenhouse gases, each plastic stopper released 10 times more CO2, whilst an aluminium stopper releases 26 times more CO2 than  a cork stopper.

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