So where do those bottle corks come from?? You can find this out and more by following the self-guided tour at Boulder Creek Winery. The winery has set up a 12-step process called “Grapes to Glass.” Each step has information on that particular process with displays and/or pictures. While I have an understanding of crushing, fermentation and bottling, it was the cork step that drew my interest.
One of the pictures below shows the oldest cork tree (in Portugal). I asked Boulder Creek Winery owner, Mike Thompson, “Doesn’t the tree die when you take its bark?” and apparently it doesn’t, and within 7 years the cork has grown back for stripping again. Ever wonder why some wineries use real cork versus synthetic versus screw caps?? COST is one reason. A real cork is about $.42/cork and a screw top is about $.15/top with a synthetic placing somewhere in the middle.
I had an enjoyable visit with Mike, who is a friendly, quiet man and is extremely knowledgeable. He gives credit and praise to his wife, Jackie, for the excellent wines they produce. I tried their Viognier and Cabernet Franc, both delicious wines, but my favorite was the Consensus. This is the 3rd year that Boulder Creek has been making this blend. And Consensus is named after exactly what it is….a consensus of the winery’s VIP Club, who for over a 1 month period tastes and decides which is the best blend. The wine has won several awards.