We select the best cork to provide our customers with a high quality product.
Once the cork gets to our courtyards, our workers handle it with extreme care and attention. At this moment, a fundamental process begins for Ecosugheri: the cork selection. It is right in this phase that our know-how finds its best expression; our deep knowledge is the result of years spent among cork oak forests and cork factories, with the target of learning as much as possible on both such precious product and the exigencies of those who transform it as to get excellent crafts out of it.
Our experts inspect each single plank and without hesitating they divide the product into three groups, according to the quality of the cork extracted:
- First choice, the best gentle cork
- Second choice
- Third choice, or rather cork for grinding machines
When the tree reaches 20–30 years of age and at least 60 cm in circumference, the cork can be removed for the first time. However, this first harvest mainly produces rough and poor quality cork, also known as “male” cork. Such product is not suitable for cutting processes; it usually undergoes milling and grinding operations for the production of granulated cork. Subsequent extractions usually occur at intervals of 10 years, according to the current regulations, though it can take up to 13 years for the cork to reach an adequate size. If the product is of high quality it is known as “gentle” cork, and represents the base for our second and first choice selections.
Specifically, it is starting from the third extraction that we are able to harvest a superlative cork, which represents actually the first choice for cork stoppers producers.
Ecosugheri pays special attention to stained cork and to the product showing signs of fungal infections as well. This raw material is stored separately in a specific area for the product believed not to be suitable for all process that is sensitive to molecular contamination. This cork therefore cannot be used for manufacturing stoppers for wines, liquors and other foodstuff.
Once the selection process is over, we take care of the storage. Ecosugheri is well aware of the importance of good ventilation and the absence of water stagnation among the planks and has ventured onto a new path, if compared to the traditional approach of our district. By looking at those who have been wisely combining tradition and innovation, while harvesting cork not that far from our land, we have started storing our planks very neatly. Most of our best quality planks are stacked onto stainless steel structures in large slightly sloping areas. This procedure prevents the cork from being in contact with the ground and shows interesting results in reducing microbial contamination. The stacks are piled as to improve water drainage and air circulation and they are ready to be inspected by our customers. Ecosugheri is just at the beginning of its path, but the target is to work hard and cooperate with both potential and existing customers, in order to ensure an authentic quality production and satisfy the most different exigencies.