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Fact No 3

Cork for closing bottles has become familiar to us not so long ago. A corkscrew for its extraction was patented only in 1795.

It that year in August, when the first patent for the corkscrew invented by the Reverend Samuel Henschel (Samuell Henshall ) was issued. And the International Corpuscrew Corpcrew Addicts (ICCA) community perpetuated this event by installing a memorial plate in the Protestant church of Dow Church in London, where Samuel Henschel worked as a the rector.

“Henschel Button” – the so-called mean for removing the corks from bottles invented by the Protestant priest. It is a disk between the blade and the handle, which prevents the blade from going too deep into the cork, thereby allowing the bottle to be uncorked without too much effort.
It is noteworthy that before the corks appeared, the wine was served on a table in jars, into which it was poured directly from barrels. Later, when the wine began to be stored in bottles, and they were sealed with cork from the natural bark of cork oak with the light hand of the Benedictine monk Pierre Perignon , the cork was inserted in such a way that some of it would look outward – and you could grab it and pull it out.

The fact is that at first the cork was like a mushroom (like a modern cork for champagne). But the massive device from the bark of cork oak was too expensive. Therefore, for reasons of economy, the hat was “cut off” and there was only a leg left. And the last one had to be taken out of the bottle somehow, so they came up with a corkscrew. Let us repeat that it was only in 1795 when Rev. Samuel Henschel came up with the idea to patent this useful device. Since then, more then 350 different devices have been registered.

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Fact No 4

Cork was used to clog the wine back in the 1st century!

Wine and cork are two products that go hand in hand for a long time. The proof of this is the amphora of the 1st century BC, found in Ephesus: it was not only sealed with a cork, but still contained wine. Later, in the 1st century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder referred to the cork oak in his famous “Natural History”.

He explained that these trees were very popular in Greece and were considered as a symbol of freedom and honor, and for this reason only priests were allowed to cut them. In the same work, we can read that cork oaks were dedicated to the Olympus God – Jupiter. Their leaves and branches were used for wreaths that were awarded to the winners. In the Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed after the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano, wine amphoras, sealed with a cork were also found.

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Fact No 5

Have you heard of a seven-meter boat of 160,000 wine plugs?

Have you heard of the seven-meter boat of 160,000 wine corks? The vessel weighing 1600 kg was built by John Pollack, known among other things for the fact that 30 years he was picking up corks and was a speechwriter with US President Bill Clinton . Having swam on their wonder-boat 265 kilometers on the Portuguese Douro River, Pollack got the nickname “Captain cork”.

John, said to the reporters that he understood the “senselessness of the event he started”, but some of his nature “wants to continue playing kid’s games.”

In principle, such a boat is not an ordinary eccentricity: a cork has long been used in seaworthy business, because on the water it holds weight many times higher than its own, and almost does not absorb moisture. For the produce of life-saving craft it is generally indispensable.

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Fact No 6

Do you know that the first measures to protect the cork were taken in the XIV century?

The first measures to protect the cork were taken in the XIV century. The Ministry of Agriculture of Portugal controls the state of the cork forests. Thanks to a reasonable and careful attitude to its “cork pantry”, the country produces about 155,000 tons of high-quality crust per year and has more than 1,100 flours- producing cork-producing companies.

Portugal cares not only for its cork forests: recently the Portuguese lobby in UNESCO has achieved the adoption of laws to protect cork oak from illegal exploitation around the world, which established strict rules for thinning, cutting and harvesting bark.

Cork oaks can be found on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, in Italy and in France. Rare strips of plantations can be found along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Sicily, Calabria, Algeria and Tunisia, mixed forests in Sardinia and Corsica.

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Fact No 7

Do you know that Dom Perignon is not only a world-famous trademark?

How many people know that Dom Perignon is not only a world-famous trademark, under which an expensive champagne is produced? According to the legend, in the 18th century a French monk named Dom Perignon first began to close the wine with a cork.

He believed that it helps to maintain the effervescence and taste of champagne. He borrowed this idea from the Spanish travelers who clogged by cork with water.

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Fact No 8

Did you know that the cork forests are a home for many of the most interesting birds and animals?

Due to the diversity of flora and fauna, cork forests provide many niches for the various animals. Forests, shrubs and tree crowns provide safe shelter and nesting possibilities for up to 24 species of reptiles and amphibians, 37 species of mammals and 100 species of birds, some of which are endangered, such as the imperial eagle and the Iberian lynx (it is known that as the lair of the female, lynx is preferred by old hollow cork oak trees, and there are not many cork forests in Europe) .