Next up in our Oak 101 Series, we are going to take all the chemistry you learned in the last two blog posts and explore how to use it to get a consistently toasted barrel – time after time. Why is this important? Because what a winemaker wants even more than a great tasting barrel, is a great tasting consistent barrel.
We don’t often get to share the process before a barrel is made – when it’s just an idea. Today, we are taking a step back and telling the story of how a World Cooperage barrel concept comes into being. How each one of our 100+ profiles started as a thought and finished as a barrel.
Of all the controllable organoleptic factors of oak – like species, grain, seasoning, and toasting – toasting is the most influential on the flavors given to the wine during maturation.
In this next video, Garret walks us through how American oak logs are graded and purchased by our team of Log Buyers. Watch as he illustrates the process at one of our company-owned stave mills.
Oak is made up of many different [chemical] parts. When working with oak for wine, it is important to understand those parts and how each contributes to the finished product.
If you want to know anything and everything about the American oak forest – Garret Nowell is your guy. He’s in charge of log procurement for World Cooperage and also a Certified Forester.
When it comes to picking a wood species for cooperage, oak is the Michael Jordan of choices – or simply put, the G.O.A.T. Now we are biased, but there are some pretty good reasons oak is the only choice for our barrels. Today, let’s start at the beginning and discuss where oak comes from.
Fire toasting is the most commonly used method to toast wine barrels however, we can also toast barrels using infrared heat in one of our infrared toasting apparatus. After seeing the infrared toasting machine clients often ask, “What is the difference between an infrared toast and toasting over a fire? Isn’t heat…heat?” The answer is, not exactly. But with that …
The Anatomy of a Barrel Sure, you probably know what a “bung hole” is (we’ll wait while your inner child chuckles) but do you know the correct terminology for the rest of a barrel? Barrels are crafted without a single nail or drop of glue – rivets hold the hoops together and the rest is a perfectly pieced together puzzle. …