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Here it is... the February 2002 issue of Sips!
The Grape Vine And The Cork Tree
The grape vine and the cork tree both have their roots (literally) in the soil of the Mediterranean, and in this monthís edition of SIPS weíll explore this convenient and historic partnership.
Cork trees grow on the coast of the western Mediterranean, in Portugal, Spain, Provence, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and even Algeria and Tunisia. Although Spain has the largest area of cork trees planted, the majority of cork from all over the world is processed in Portugal. As with wine, each cork region produces cork with different characteristics, and Portugalís most prized cork region is Evora.
The bark of the cork tree yields commercially viable cork only after its 25th year. In Portugal, cork trees are stripped of their bark, from which wine corks are made, only every nine years. The older the tree, the more cork it will yield, and the average life expectancy of a cork tree is somewhere between 150-175 years. So cork farming is an even longer-term undertaking than growing grape vines, most of which have an active life of around 25-30 years (although there are notable exceptions, like the 100-year-old Zinfandel vines still producing in California).
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