This story has its own name. A well-known one. Because, although it may seem very normal now, there was a time in history when wine was not kept in bottles, let alone cork was used to stop it.

It was around 1670 when Dom Pierre Pérignon invented the cork stopper. Throughout the 17th century, the use of the glass bottle began to become popular and this French Benedictine monk decided to use cork to stopper his champagne bottles. At that time, wooden blocks wrapped in other elements such as fabrics dipped in olive oil were used. However, this solution did not allow the wine to transpire and it ended up rotting.

Dom Pérignon opted for cork because of the properties of this material: impermeability, airtightness and, most importantly, elasticity, which allows it to be molded without any problem.

It was at this moment that the idea was born. But it took a few years to spread. In fact, the first cork manufacturing machine was patented in the 19th century in England. In France, on the other hand, they maintained their prototype of a stopper formed by two pieces of cork glued together.

Elaboration process

It may appear to be a common material. But if we start to investigate, it is not easy to get cork. The cork is obtained from the bark of the cork oak, a fairly long-lived tree whose age must be respected. After planting, they have to wait 30 years to be able to extract the cork for the first time. After that, it will take nine years to get this material from the bark again.

Once the raw material is obtained, it must be formed into sheets and boiled to eliminate microbial contamination. And also to improve its flexibility, one of its strengths. The next step is to cut the sheet into vertical strips and perforate them in a cylindrical shape. So pull out the cork.

Finally, it is washed again to sterilize and kerosene (or silicone) is applied. In this way, its humidity is better preserved and the extraction of the bottle is also helped.

And now that we know when the cork appeared… when was the corkscrew invented? From Barcolobo we will tell you about it in future blogs. Attention!