Use natural cork, save a bird

Here is a video about how important it is to preserve the natural cork forests of Portugal and Spain, a unique habitat for wildlife. The easiest way to do this is to do what we are learning to do in so many areas of our life and choose natural over synthetic – so when you next buy a bottle of … Read More

Buy cork direct from Portugal


Something like 70% of the world’s cork comes from Portugal and given the worldwide connectivity that the internet gives us and very competitive international transportation rates, it makes sense to consider buying your cork direct from Portugal and not from a national distributor from your country. Here at CorkLink we run a low-cost business model, for three reasons: – our … Read More

Cork powder / cork dust supplier

Cork dust or cork powder is produced when corks are ground down to size using grinding stones, which results in a very fine powder, which has a variety of uses. It can be used to produce colmated corks, where the dust is used to patch up imperfections in the surface of lower quality natural corks and is also used in … Read More

Cork granules densities

We supply cork granules direct from our facilities in Portugal to customers all round the world. We regularly get asked about the options for different densities and the reasons that costs vary so much for different densities, so here is an explanation. It is useful to understand how cork granules are made: cork bark is peeled off the cork oak … Read More

The confusing world of natural wine cork classification


Natural cork has a confusing system of different qualities, which could be a lot more simple, but unfortunately isn’t! The basic classification system for natural wine corks or natural capsulated (bar-top) corks starts with the very best corks “Flor”, which should have no surface imperfections, just the occasional visible line, then it goes down to Extra, then Super, then First, … Read More

Agglomerated & natural options for conical corks

We supply a complete range of conical corks sizes direct from Portugal, from size 000 (6.3/4.0 x 12.7mm) up to very large conical corks with a diameter of 20cm+. We can also do custom sizes and conical corks with holes or even one piece bar-top style corks as shown in the photo: You can see here the normal finish options … Read More

Cork best for wines and best for the environment


Here is a film about why natural cork from Portugal is the best solution for bottling wine both in terms of its quality as a sealant and the environmental benefits. The cork oak forests of Portugal are among the most biologically rich on earth and harvesting the cork only requires the bark being stripped – the trees live on! Plastic … Read More

Aluminium and plastic closures vs cork: the environmental battle


A study was carried out a few years ago by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to look at the environmental impact of different wine closures, considering cork, aluminium and plastic options. What they looked at was the lifecycle of each type of closure to work out the cost to the environment of 1,000 closures, in terms of energy, water consumption, air pollution and solid waste. … Read More

Little Kit Company custom conical corks

At CorkLink we are just as proud to serve our small customers as our large ones and one of our smaller customers who keeps coming back for more corks is The Little Kit Company, which makes mini wine making kits (and they are really mini – one bottle at a time!). Kirstyn Holgate came up with the idea and runs … Read More

Skilled production of natural wine corks disappearing

Not so long ago, all corks were what are now termed natural, that is punched out of the cork bark by a skilled worker with a punching machine and a lot of patience (see photo below). Sadly these natural wine corks are gradually being replaced by agglomerated corks, which are far easier to make and do not require anything like … Read More

Storage of cork stoppers

We receive a lot of questions about how cork stoppers should be stored once they have been received by clients. The most important thing is that once you have received your cork stoppers from your supplier, you should use them to bottle your wine or whatever within around 6 months. After this time the surface treatment (generally silicone or paraffin) … Read More

Natural cork stopper or screw cap?


Here at CorkLink of course we love natural cork – what is there not to like? It comes from sustainable forests where the trees are not cut down to harvest the cork bark, the product is beautiful in the way that only natural wood can be, it is the only way to allow wine to age in the bottle and … Read More

Natural cork balls supplier

We supply natural cork balls in sizes of 8, 10, 16, 18, 20 and 25mm (and agglomerated cork balls in these sizes and larger). Natural cork balls are in fact very difficult to produce in high quality, as they need to be worked delicately and also need to be made from good quality natural cork in order to not have … Read More

Sourcing cork from Portugal


There are not many industries that Portugal can claim to be the world leader in, but cork is one of them. In fact around 70% of the world’s cork is exported out of Portugal and for quality natural cork stoppers, the figure is over 95%. So if you are buying cork from within your own country, the chances are that … Read More

Cork or screw cap – which is best for your wine?


It will come as no surprise that here are CorkLink we are passionate defenders of using cork to seal wine bottles – after that is a big part of how we make our living! I would like to have a look at some of the arguments that need to be considered when choosing between screw caps or corks. Natural cork … Read More

Used red wine casks (barrels) for sale


We have a stock of 700 used wine casks/barrels 500 litres each in heights of 1.50m and 1.17m available for sale pictured below. Price is €224 each as is. Their condition is not perfect, although we can recondition for them for you if required. They were used for making Portuguese red wine. We also have used port wine barrels for … Read More

Agglomerated or natural corks?


So should you choose agglomerated or natural corks for your stoppers? Assuming that you are not going to use a synthetic option (screw tops or worse still a plastic cork imitation), what are the different characteristics of agglomerated and natural corks? Within the agglomerated cork bracket, you can opt for micro-agglomerated (with 0.5 to 2.0mm granule size) which have the … Read More

Different qualities of natural wine corks


The system of classifying natural wine corks into different quality categories is to say the least a complex one. The key thing to understand is that there is no cross industry standard applied to corks coming out of Portugal (where the vast majority of natural wine corks are produced) and more complicated still, broad quality standards vary considerably from country … Read More

Cork from Portugal – nothing gets thrown away!


Because cork is a natural product that can only be harvested from one kind of oak tree, there is a limited supply. It is also quite expensive to harvest from the trees, as the bark has to be removed by hand. This means that cork is not a cheap raw material! It has unique properties and has a certain beauty … Read More

Expanded cork board prices

Here is our price list for expanded cork board (also known as black cork). The prices are per m2 and some minimum order quantities apply according to thickness. Our products will be delivered direct from the factory in Portugal to your address – we have extremely competitive shipping costs to the UK, northern Europe and beyond, so please ask us … Read More

Natural wine corks classification


Natural wine corks are still used to seal the vast majority of the world’s best wines, because all the other solutions (either synthetic or other cork options, such as micro-agglomerated, normal agglomerated or 1+1 technical corks) do not offer the unique properties that natural cork offers as well as the cosmetic appeal. We are not going to look at which … Read More

Ecorkhotel in Evora with expanded cork external cladding


On top of a haystack, five kilometers from Evora, the Ecorkhotel has been built, with the principal external walls clad in expanded cork. It is a four-star hotel, located in Évora an area rich in cork forests, where the ferocious summer heat can make building insulation a very important factor. The hotel as used the concept of Eco Tourism as … Read More

Tapered / conical corks supplier direct from Portugal


We have been selling a lot of tapered or conical corks recently in both agglomerated and natural cork. Generally we do not work from stock and for orders of the larger conical corks we can make up orders of just 1000. There is a sizing system for conical corks which is detailed below. Generally we can produce an order in … Read More

Screw cap threat drives cork innovation


Five to ten years ago there were various people declaring that the cork industry would be largely consigned to history as screw caps take over from cork stoppers for wine bottles, but in fact over recent years corks have been increasing their share of the market rather than losing it. The truth is that the major players in the cork … Read More

Expanded cork – how it is made


Expanded cork (or black cork) is made from the bark of the cork tree that is of too poor a quality to be used for making natural wine corks. Principally this is from branches that are pruned from cork trees (see photo below), fire damaged cork from forest fires and ‘virgin’ cork (the cork that come from the first harvest … Read More

Agglomerated cork blocks produced using a mould


In recent years there has been a lot of development in using cork agglomerate in innovative ways, by mixing different kinds of corks granules, adding colours, varying the densities and so on. The main way that this is done is to add cork granules and adhesive into a block mould, then to apply pressure. What emerges is a block typically … Read More

Technical / 1+1 corks supplier

1+1 technical corks

1+1 corks are made from an agglomerated cork body with natural cork discs glued on to each end. So natural cork will be displayed to the consumer when about to open the bottle and will also be in contact with the wine in the bottle. Agglomerated cork is a good deal less costly than natural cork, so by just using … Read More

Expanded cork / black cork supplier

Expanded cork was developed in the mid 1990s to provide a 100% natural insulation material, using parts of the cork bark that were not previously used. When the cork oak tree is stripped of its bark, generally only the trunk is stripped and the upper branches are left untouched. The cork bark from the upper branches cannot be used to … Read More

Natural wine cork handling and storage


The production techniques for premium natural corks have been revolutionised in recent years to guarantee negligible levels of contamination and extremely reliable quality control. So if you buy natural corks from a supplier such as CorkLink, you can expect to receive an extremely safe and reliable product. However it is important that once you receive the corks, you should handle … Read More

Choosing a wine cork supplier


Over 70% of the world’s wine corks are made in Portugal and the percentage is quite a lot higher than this for natural corks and other high end corks. If you are looking for a new wine cork supplier, then Portugal is the natural place to look, but choosing a supplier is very difficult. The cork industry structure has changed … Read More

Bar-top or T-Top corks supplier recommendations


We supply a lot of custom Bar-top or T-Top corks (also known as capsulated closures) – we can make most specifications that clients require and we can provide a wide variety of custom options. More and more spirits manufacturers are opting for micro-agglomerated corks, which are fine for non-premium products, but is seems a real shame for premium brands to … Read More

Wine capsules supplier


Some of our clients like to buy their corks together with the capsules and we are of course very happy to supply this. We can supply PVC capsules, polylaminate capsules and tin capsules with pretty much any colour and graphics you may require. Polylaminate capsules are an effective lower cost alternative to tin capsules, as they have a more robust … Read More

Moulded / Molded cork supplier


There have been a lot of advances in the moulded (or molded for USA readers!) cork sector recently. Essentially the process works by mixing micro-agglomerated cork granules (less than 2mm) with a powerful adhesive and then poured into a mould and submitted to high pressure so that it sets. This allows us to make all sorts of things out of … Read More

Where do natural wine corks come from?


Cork is actually just another name for the bark of particular oak tree (Quercus suber, more commonly known as Cork Oak), which is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. They can grow as tall as 20m and live for over 150 years and form stunningly beautiful forests, particular in central and southern Portugal where they are very extensive (accounting … Read More

Conical corks manufacturer


Larger conical corks are generally made by punching the corks out of agglomerated cork boards, whilst smaller conical corks can be made by grinding cylindrical corks down to size. This means that smaller natural conical corks can be made by grinding rejected wine corks down (typically these wine corks will have been rejected because of a surface imperfection for example). … Read More

Classification of natural wine corks


Sourcing wine corks can be a complicated business – even if you have decided to use natural corks (rather than colmated, agglomerated, 1+1, or micro-agglomerated), then you have to decide what classification of natural cork you want (extra, super, first, second etc) and then what kind of finish treatment you require for the corks. Here we would like to consider … Read More

Natural cork fabric


Natural cork fabric is made by making a large block of small pieces of cork (which are in fact off-cuts from the production of wine corks that have been glued together) and it is then sliced into thin layers, which can be used for all sorts of things. The beauty of this natural cork fabric is that it retains the … Read More

Custom micro-agglomerated capsulated corks


We have recently been producing some bar-top corks for olive oil bottles, using micro-agglomerated cork. We produced a capsulated (Bar Top) style cork made from a single piece micro-agglomerated cork. Making bar-tops corks in this way is actually a relatively low-cost way to produce them as they can be mass produced by automatic machinery given that their diameter is under … Read More

Tapered corks manufacturer


We supply tapered cork stoppers in a variety of standard sizes and we can also produce custom tapered corks to pretty much any specification you require. As well as different sizes, we can also produce tapered corks with centre holes and made from agglomerated, micro-agglomerated or natural cork and as with all cork, there are different quality grades available depending … Read More

Cork stoppers continue to take market share from synthetic alternatives

cork production

10 years ago, things didn’t look that great for the cork stoppers industry, with strong growth in sales of plastic and aluminium alternatives as a more reliable and cheaper alternative. The cork industry has really fought back however and the market share of synthetic stoppers has fallen from 18.4% in 2007 to 14.4% in 2011, which works out at around … Read More