Harvesting cork in Andalucia

During the summer months cork (corcho) is harvested by hand in Andalucia, Spain to be used in wine bottles.

Workers use axes to cut and strip away the bark.

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The cork trees are then left for ten years, so the bark can grow back. Leading to more ecological way of harvesting the cork.

cork_forest_13_Finca_del_rio   cork_forest_16_Finca_del_rio

The cork can only be harvested when the sap is rising, making it mallable to cut and peel it away from the tree.  At other times of the year the bark would be more difficult to render from the tree.


The cork is loaded by hand onto very tranquil and tame mules (mulos).


The mules are so used to the work, they can take themselves to the unloading area.

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cork_forest_2_Finca_del_rio   cork_forest_1_Finca_del_rio

The cork is loaded onto a large trailer (remolque) which is secured, then driven via truck to another area.


The cork is then sorted and weighed using large weighing scales (bascula).


After weighing the cork, it is then thrown onto large piles (lots). Which are then driven on trucks to Portugal to be processed and turned into the cork found in wine bottles.


A ‘cork dog’. A special dog bred to resemble and protect the cork.