We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Cork?

L. S. Wynn
By L. S. Wynn
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cork is a material that grows as the bark of the Cork Oak tree. More than half of the world's supply originates in southern Portugal.

The bark of the tree is harvested about every 9 or 10 years, and it is allowed to dry for 1 to 2 years. Next it is boiled to remove any toxins or other harmful agents, and then it is graded and cut. After a final cleaning and drying, the cork is sorted and ready for use.

Cork is most commonly used for wine bottle stoppers, but it can also be found in bulletin boards, flotation devices, and floor tiles. Worldwide, demand is on the rise primarily due to increasing wine consumption. Ramping up production, however, is a lengthy process since the trees can only be harvested about once per decade. Synthetic cork has been developed to satiate the growing demand.

What is a Corkage Fee? A Corkage fee is a fee levied by a restaurant to serve a bottle of wine brought in by the customer. The fee is intended to compensate the restaurant for all of the following: opening the bottle, serving the wine, cleaning glasses, and perhaps most importantly, lost revenue from wine sales. These fees vary from restaurant to restaurant and although they can be very high, they usually hover around $10 to $15 US Dollars.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By concordski — On May 09, 2010


I cannot believe that the majority of the world's cork comes from the Iberian Peninsula. No wonder there is an interest in developing and using synthetic cork. Can you imagine what would happen if the cork cartel (if there is one), decided to increase prices drastically?

Synthetic cork keeps the natural producers honest in their pricing.

By origami — On May 09, 2010

Portugal produces about 1/2 of the world's output of cork. Spain is another large producer.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.