The Institut Català del Suro and DO Empordà are jointly promoting the 'Taps de finca' brand, which will allow these local corks to be recognized.
The initiative aims to highlight native cork, contribute to its recovery and promote the management of the Empordà cork forests.
The 'Taps de finca' will be used especially for high-end wines from the Empordà wineries and will give added value to these products.
'Finca caps'. This is the name of the ambitious initiative that the Institut Català del Suro and the Regulatory Council of DO Empordà have just launched. A joint action that aims to highlight the singular confluence of cork and vines in the same territory: the Empordà. The two institutions have just created the 'Caps de finca' brand, which will identify local corks made with cork extracted from cork oaks located in the same Emporda wineries or nearby farms.
The extracted cork will have to be selected and prepared before it is transformed into cork stoppers. These caps will be produced by companies from the Associació d'Empresaris Surers de Catalunya (AECORK), following the same criterion of proximity and quality guarantee. The Catalan Cork Institute has designed a traceability system that guarantees that participating wineries will use cork from their local area. The control of the origin of the product will be maintained throughout the process, from extraction and preparation, through its passage through the factory and until the final delivery to the winery participating in the initiative.
The project, which wants to have continuity over time, will be developed progressively. A dozen wineries have confirmed their participation in the program although initially only two of these wineries currently meet all the necessary requirements to start bottling their wines with the 'Estate Caps'. In this sense, it should be remembered that Catalan cork needs at least 14 years to reach the necessary thickness - about 3-4 centimeters - to be used to make corks. Unlike other producing areas such as Extremadura, Andalusia or Portugal where growth is faster - with 9 years on average being sufficient -, in Catalonia this process is slower. But precisely this slowing gives the cork a greater density and, consequently, improves its quality for making corks.
Precisely, the participating Empordà wineries will especially use the 'Estate Caps' to cover their best wines. A brand that will bring added value to them with the meaning of a quality, close and sustainable product.
The aim of creating the brand is to highlight native cork, contribute to its recovery and promote the management of the Empordà cork oak forests. The program, which is made a reality thanks to the link between the cork and Catalan wine sectors, will contribute to the environmental and landscape conservation of the territory so that present and future generations can enjoy it. The cork oak represents nearly 45% of the treed surface in Baix Empordà and 25% in Alt Empordà. And the regions of Girona concentrate 80% of the hectares of cork oak in Catalonia and the largest number of cork oak trees in all of Spain.