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The Assyrians, Egyptians and Greeks already knew the cork stopper in early antiquity. In some cases, cork stoppers were also used as closures for amphorae. Mostly, however, stoppers made of terracotta (clay) were used, which were fastened with string and then sealed with varnish, clay or pitch. The Roman author Cato the Elder (234-149 BC) wrote that the wine jars had to be sealed with cork and pitch after fermentation. So the Romans already knew this type of closure, but it fell into oblivion again with the fall of the Roman Empire. Probably because the Iberian Peninsula, the main source of cork bark, was conquered by the Moors in the 8th century and dominated for a long time. Until the late Middle Ages, vessels were sealed with wooden stoppers dipped in oil and wrapped in hemp, pitch or wax.

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Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

The world's largest Lexicon of wine terms.

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