Uncorking a bottle of wine after a long day is one of the few true pleasures in life. But ever wonder where that small cork—aka the last thing standing between you and your favorite red—comes from? In Portugal, there’s a long and rich history of harvesting cork trees. Harvesters strip trees of their bark by hand, using a process that makes certain the tree remains alive and healthy. The method is so difficult that harvesters begin learning the trade from a young age, keeping up a skill passed down through the generations. So, the next time you kick back with a bottle of wine, give that pesky cork a second glance—its journey from bark to bottle is more surprising than you think.
This Great Big Story was inspired by Genesis.
This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants.
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