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The Most Seductive Sound In Wine? Here's How It's Made. (SLIDE SHOW)

Today we're looking at visual snapshots of making cork, that small but vital "Pop!" component of the ritual and romance that we love about drinking wine.

Gallery The Making of Corks

Launch Gallery

8 images

The sound, that is, of the "Pop!" of the cork when it's removed from the neck of a wine bottle. But there is also the squeaky sound of the corkscrew twisting into the cork. And there is the sound of the friction as the tightly-sealed cork rubs against the glass on its passage out of the bottle. Finally there is the sound, less squeaky or noisy this time, of untwisting the corkscrew from the cork once it's free of its enclosure and has taken an expansive breath.

These moments tell us how cork sounds. Now, how does cork look?

How does cork look, that is, throughout its life-cycle? From the cork oak tree forest, to seasoning bark strippings in the sun, to the manufacturing facility where corks shaped as we know them are "punched" from the bark, to the finishing process where thousands upon thousands of corks are tested for contaminants and printed with the winery name or cru -- these are all snapshots of the process of cork production, leading to the individual corks themselves, which are such a vital component of the ritual and romance that we love about drinking wine.

As I wrote in an article last week about the production process, manufacturing cork is comprised of strings of micro decisions and micro management along the supply chain, such as identifying specific cork trees to harvest within a forest, and shifting punching machines a few millimeters to the right or left. Today, in a visual follow up to that post, we take a closer look through the lens of Portugal-based photographer Jorge Simão, as he documents this narrative.

Enjoy this Photo Gallery and captions, on the Making of Corks.

Cathy Huyghe is the co-founder of Enolytics and the author of Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass. Find her online at cathyhuyghe.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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