A UNIQUE SYSTEM
Take up the challenge and take a trip round the world of cork! It will be a long and varied journey, rich and rewarding, which will give you a unique insight into a diverse geographical phenomenon, what a magnificent way to spend your holidays and leisure time!Lluís Medir Huerta
Landscapes and the human settlements that have grown up in them in the greater part of the world are closely linked. Homo sapiens, have, as a species, molded the original landscapes and in so doing, they have evolved.
All this human activity has impacted on the landscapes in many and varied ways, and does and will continue to do so. Cork forests make up only a small part of our planet and are found in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, Portugal and southwestern France; a fair sweep in itself but small on a global scale.
Happily, the cork forests are in as good a state today as ever, considering they have been exploited for thousands of years. This is thanks to the fact that it is the bark of the tree that provides us with this highly valued material, cork, itself a renewable part which can be removed periodically. Sustainability is assured.
The extraordinary jigsaw of languages and cultures that coexist around the Mediterranean areas are well known. The landscapes and climates are many and varied too, and many of them provide the soil and climatic conditions that suit the cork oak, and it is there that our tree can be found.
Cork is mainly used in stoppers, and this has forced cork producing communities to colonize the world, even farther afield than their main ally: wine. They have been forced to travel in pursuit of their trade and have developed, taking on a cosmopolitan character as the industrial revolution, which provided the demand for more and more production, took hold.
In essence it remains the same but the world of cork has certainly evolved, moving forward into modern times. Today, the cork towns and surrounding countryside are a unique mosaic of great natural wealth and anthropological interest.
This is a whole new world for you to discover: mountains and thickly wooded plains, vast meadows where the most magnificent cork trees are found, and clear views across endless horizons… All of this interspersed with villages, towns and cities that have become industrialized, that have specialized in forestry care, and that preserve their proud ancestral identity as cork producing districts.
Each place has its own peculiar architecture, cultural heritage and archeology and even boasts its own cuisine but what they have in common, although explained in many languages, is the cork oak, the history of cork, its uses and its beauty.
Take up the challenge and take a trip round the world of cork! It will be a long and varied journey, rich and rewarding, which will give you a unique insight into a diverse geographical phenomenon, what a magnificent way to spend your holidays and leisure time!