Portugal produces more than half of the world's cork! The country has about 5.3 million acres (2,150,000 hectares) of land from which it produces about 310,000 tons (281,227,269 kilograms) of cork each year.
Put A Cork In It Facts:
- Cork grows on cork oak trees, which start out as acorns. After the tree lives to be 25 years old, the cork is stripped from the trunks in nine-year cycles.
- Cork trees live up to 200 years.
- Using cork for wine bottles has not been common as long as you might have thought — even into the 1600s, the French used oil-soaked rags to plug the bottles.
- Portugal employs about 20,000 people in 500 factories to produce cork.
- Cork has a variety of applications including stoppers, shoes, floor mats, cigarettes and insulation — the Portuguese national postal service even released a stamp made from cork.