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.
Introduction to Barrel Profiling
The objective is to determine if the new Barrel Profiling technology improves consistency and provides flavor differences between four different toasting regimes.
Varietal Specific Barrel Profiles
Five French oak profiles that performed well with other varietals and had specific characteristics to complement Pinot noir wines were selected.
The Winemaker’s Guide to Barrel Evaluation
In the past, barrel evaluation was not always conducted scientifically. This research takes barrel evaluation to the next level by tying sensory to oak chemistry, a method validated through sensory trials with active production winemakers (not students or panelists). Winemakers should use this sensory method as a guide to do their own barrel evaluations in-house.
Preparing Barrels for Filling and Ongoing Maintenance
There are strongly held views on how to prepare a barrel for filling. The use of water is strongly opposed by some, while others enthusiastically adopt it. Some steam the barrel for three to four minutes, while others quick-rinse with cold water. Certain views take cost into consideration as well as flavor consequences. Each winery’s environment, such as water availability and labor cost, also weighs on the method used.
Increasing Toast Character in French Oak Profiles
Four new barrel profiles were developed with the aim of producing toastier versions of well established European style barrels. These include water bent as well as conventional fire toasted barrels.
Does Size Really Matter
An investigation into the use of larger barrels was conducted on a plant scale by Sebastiani Vineyards. Over 50 barrels were used. Twenty barrels were the larger 65 gallon barrels and 38 barrels were the standard 59 gallon barrels.
Differences in Fire Bent, Dry Heat Tunnel Bent and Water Bent Barrels
Different cooperage practices exist. In this trial stave bending techniques were compared and contrasted.
Custom Barrel Profiling #2
The objective is to compare new, custom profiles and commercial profiles and to create a special toasting profile for Rodney Strong Pinot noir wines.
Custom Barrel Profiling #1
Custom Barrel ProfilingBeaulieu VineyardObjectiveThe objective is to determine if the designed, custom profiles meet expectations for Beaulieu Vineyard Chardonnay.SynopsisThree custom, or special, profile toasting regimes were coopered and used to barrel-ferment and age Chardonnay wine (see process curves below). These were compared with three existing products: the World Cooperage Traditional, the T.W. Boswell Côte d’Or, and the T.W. Boswell Legacy. …
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