Arriero (ah-ee-err‘-oh) is named for the “mule man” who still loads the mule with the bark from trees in the traditional method to produce the distinctive cork. The bark is harvested from the cork oak tree found in southern Europe especially Portugal and Spain. These sustainable cork forests are protected by legal guidelines for cultivation. Once a cork tree has reached its maturity, its bark is carefully removed by specialized cork extractors using a very sharp axe. The cork is removed without harming the tree and is re-harvested every 9-10 years. A cork tree regenerates this outer layer 12-13 times during its 150 + lifetime.