Our production process begins with the extraction of the tree’s bark, which we do during May or August, depending on the area.
Our raw material comes from Dehesa in Extremadura and Montes de Toledo, where the family cork preparation factory is located.
When the tree has reached an age of 35-40 years, we carry out the first cork harvest, through which we obtain the virgin cork. This cork is not suitable for making stoppers, but it is used in a variety of applications, such as flooring or insulation.
Between 9 and 14 years later (depending on the area), we carry out the second cork harvest, through which we obtain secondary cork, which is also unsuitable for making stoppers.
When the tree reaches and age of 55-60 years, we obtain the reproduction cork from the third harvest, which can be used to produce natural cork stoppers.
The average useful life of a cork tree is 200-250 years, equivalent to 14-15 extractions.
After the cork has been peeled, we begin the stabilisation phase, during which we store the cork sheets outside the family preparation factory before they are submitted to the first boiling. This process lasts at least 6 months. This is the amount of time our raw material needs to be left to stand, to mature and improve its innate qualities.
We then carry out the first boiling, which consists of complete immersion of the cork sheets in clean, boiling water. The aim is to clean the cork, extract the soluble substances, increase its thickness, and improve its flexibility and elasticity.
We then select and classify the sheets for thicknesses and optimum qualities for producing our stoppers.
We leave the cork to stand at our Cassà de la Selva factory to let it mature until it achieves uniform consistency and quality. This provides us with a large stock available to produce any quality or size of stopper.
We subject the cork to vaporisation at controlled temperature and humidity levels, to give it greater flexibility and eliminate impurities and unwanted odours before it is handled.
Next, we slice the sheets into cross-sections and perforate them with a gouge to obtain the cylindrical stoppers. When these operations are complete, we carry out a preliminary selection to separate the stoppers that cannot be used for corking.
Finally, we rectify the dimensions by honing and polishing the body of the stopper.
We wash the stoppers to disinfect and standardise the batches.
We separate the stoppers into visual classes using cutting-edge technology in artificial vision to guarantee that our classes are uniform and meet the particular specifications each client asks us for.
We process the stoppers using groundbreaking industrial technology through our own system, that is based on applying a combination of vapour and dry air to the stoppers to eliminate unwanted aromas. This significantly reduces TCA contents.
System validated by the University of Girona
All our stoppers are submitted to a second, more precise selection by our qualified staff to specify particular nuances of the classes that can only be appreciated by means of the human eye.
These consist of the design, personalisation and marking of the stoppers, the surface treatment for correct bottling, as well as various systems to detect and minimise possible aromatic deviations in the stoppers.More information