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Manufacturing Process2017-05-21T11:40:21+00:00

Selection

All oak wood for oenology is from the QUERCUS family. It is mainly Quercus alba (better known as American oak), Quercus petraea and Quercus robur.

The raw material is usually selected by stave mills. Not all cutting areas are suitable for creating this oenological wood. The supply therefore comes from precise geographical zones.

The wood used for oenological wood and for barrels is the same. As a result, it is therefore very high quality. This wood contains no sapwood or bark, just the heartwood.

Maturation

As with the staves used in cooperages, wood for oenology goes through a traditional maturation stage outdoors in the open air. This necessary and long period enables numerous natural chemical and microbiological reactions to develop in contact with air and water. These reactions have a very strong impact on many compounds in the wood (lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, ellagitannins, whisky lactones, etc.) and therefore the quality of the products. This maturation stage lasts for a minimum of 12 months and can be up to 36 months or more.

Heating

Once it has been selected and matured, the wood is then heated. Just as grapes are transformed into wine through skilful alchemy, the effect of heat on wood is a complex collection of physico-chemical transformations affected principally by heating time, temperature and the presence or absence of water and oxygen. Depending on the conditions applied, this step either allows the wood to be dried in order to preserve the very nature of the oak, or complex sensory compounds to be generated.

Each producer has developed their own expertise in heating the wood without burning it in order to arrive at the desired result.
There are infinite variations, from the method of transferring heat (through convection, conduction, radiation or fire) to the temperature increase curves and heating times.

A wide range of sensory notes is also obtained, from vanilla to smoky notes or caramel, toasted or roasted-type notes.

As stated in regulation EC 1506/2006, no product is added before, during or after the manufacture of wood for oenology. The sensory addition provided by the wood is 100% natural and produced by the oak itself.

Traceability

Each producer provides precise traceability for their products. Traceability must be ensured at every stage in order to facilitate checks, the potential recall of faulty products, customer information and the determination of responsibilities (regulation EC 1935/2004).

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