Where Does Cork Come From?

The corks you find sealing up bottles come from the bark of the cork oak, which grows in Spain, Portugal, and North Africa. This bark contains a waxy substance that keeps gases and liquids from passing through the wood.

About half of every cork is made up of empty space. A piece of cork just one inch square contains about 200 million cells filled with air. It’s those air cells that let a cork float and let it be squeezed to fit into a bottle. Once it’s in the neck of the bottle, the cork swells to fill the opening, locking out air and moisture.

About 600 million pounds of cork are produced each year, with the largest amount coming from Spain. But because so many bottles of wine are produced around the world, there are barely enough corks to go around!

The longest flight by a cork popped from a champagne bottle is 102 feet, 11 inches!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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