For over 3,000 years, cork has been used to seal bottles. Egyptian tombs dating back thousands of years were found to contain amphorae with cork stoppers. In China around 3,000 B.C. it was used as a fishing apparatus. Ancient Greeks used it as a stopper for olive oil and wine.
But it was French Benedictine monk Dom Perignon who first used it commercially as a stopper for the sparkling wine of his Hautvilliers monastery in 1680. Since the 1700s, natural cork has been the leading closure for fine wines from every part of the world.
Cork stoppers first arrived in Portugal around 1700 and were first used in the port industry. By 1797, the Portuguese were exporting over 100,000 cork stoppers a year.
Today over 12 billion natural cork stoppers are produced every year.