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Jilly Goolden says to ‘put a cork in it’!

Well known wine critic, Jilly Goolden unveiled the world’s largest natural cork sculpture at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park on September 2, to tell the story of cork from bark to bottle.

The giant corks, equal in volume to 4,001 bottles of wine, were created by artist and sculptor Stuart Murdoch for the I Love Natural Cork campaign. Each cork uses stencil art to illustrate a different chapter of the story and demystify the myths behind natural cork stoppers:

  • Natural cork production guarantees the survival of the huge 400 year old cork oak forests of the Mediterranean Basin, which are known as the ‘green lung of Europe’ as they absorb up to 14million tonnes of CO2 a year
  • Natural cork does far more than just preserve and improve the quality and character of your wine. No cork trees are cut down in the harvest, making it 100% natural, renewable and recyclable
  • The cork oak forests are a top diversity hotspot and protect thousands of plant and animal species
  • Natural cork lets your wine breathe and mature naturally

With £11.5 billion1 spent each year on wine in the UK, Jilly is urging the 28.5 million of us who enjoy a glass to get out our cork-screws and do one small and effective thing to build a more sustainable future.

Jilly Goolden, says: "For me there isn't a completely satisfactory alternative to real cork as a wine bottle closure. Cork is entirely natural and environmentally sound, to say nothing of the romance, history and theatre of the cork.”

The giant corks will be on show on The Mall outside the gates of Clarence House at the ‘Garden Party to Make a Difference’, part of the Prince of Wales’ START initiative starting on September 8 for 12 days.  Here, visitors will be encouraged to pledge their support for natural cork as the environmentally friendly wine closure choice.  They will also be invited to bring their used wine corks along to the I Love Natural Cork exhibition where they will be collected for recycling and renewable resources.

Jilly Goolden will be attending the festival on 9th September to host a tasting session, where she will educate consumers about the benefits of natural cork compared with alternative closures. She will explain how natural cork stoppers let wine breathe and mature naturally to ensure the final taste and experience is the best it can be, as intended by the wine maker.

About is a campaign to recruit UK wine consumers to choose wine with natural cork stoppers because of cork’s environmental, economic and social/cultural benefits. The campaign seeks to educate, organise and recruit wine drinkers to request that wine producers and retailers choose natural cork over artificial closures. The campaign is funded by APCOR, the Portuguese Cork Association.

About APCOR – Portuguese Cork Association
APCOR’s mission is to represent and promote the Portuguese Cork Industry, with almost 250 members, representing around 80% of the total national cork production and 85% of all cork exports. APCOR is also responsible for promotional activities, with added value to cork, on both a national and international scale, in addition, as extensive Information Resource Centre on cork.

About ‘A Garden Party to Make a Difference’
Taking place in the gardens of Clarence House and its neighbouring Lancaster House and Marlborough House, ‘A Garden Party to Make a Difference’ will last for 12 days from 8th to 19th September 2010.



1 September 2010 - Felicity Murray