We loved this article about barrels, so we are sharing it with you.

The use of cooperage dates back to Antiquity. Although the Romans used amphorae, they “copied” from the Gauls the use of the barrel as a means of transporting and storing wine throughout the Mediterranean. It was also used to transport other types of products such as sugar, oil or beer, but today it is still the barrel where the wines continue to age. Because?

The quality of the wood in the barrels plays a decisive role in the aging of a wine. Depending on the type of oak, its age, the size of the barrel, etc., its influence will be different.

The choice of wood is an important decision and determines what type of wine you want to make: “wood provides tannins, flavors and aromas to the wine, so it is key to the creation of a wine,” explains Marilena Bonilla , technical director of Protos Wineries.

French or American oak?

The French oak

Barrels are usually made from French oak wood (slower oxygenation of the wine, providing a softer flavor and more delicate aromas) or American oak wood (harder and the properties of the wood are transmitted quickly, providing more powerful aromas). In Portugal we find Tonnellerie JM Gonçalves whose facilities are near the protected area of ​​the International Douro Natural Park and the Arribes de Duero Natural Park. “We carefully select the best lots of French oaks (Quercus petraea or sessiliflora) in the beautiful forests of Allier and Vosges . This wood is characterized by a type of fine grain, that is, growth rings visible within the trunk of a tree. It is delicate in character, and with a very fine boisé , which fully respects the fruit of the wine throughout its aging,” explains JM Gonçalves.

The American oak

“American oak (Quercus alba), from the forests of Missouri and Appalachia, is selected from the best lots of American white oak, revealing a rich and complex aromatic character,” they add. But in addition to the type of wood, which can be combined like the Unique Barrel model by JM Gonçalves that mixes 60% American with 40% French, there are other important variables that winemakers take into account when making: the size of the barrel. , the thickness of the staves (planks) and the grain of the wood or its drying time , which can reach 4.5 years.

Because if a good wine is made for a long time in a barrel, its wood has also needed time to grow and dry naturally in the sun. “Even to create a wine we can use different types of barrels, such as in our reserve , which has 50% new French oak barrels, 30% one-year-old French barrels and 20% American barrels,” concludes the technical director of Bodegas Protos.


  • Jess
    • Jess
    • December 28, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    No tenía ni idea de que los vinos sabían a madera porque se envejecían en barricas de roble. Creía que era algo antiguo.

  • Adrián
    • Adrián
    • December 28, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Me encantó leer este artículo. Siempre me han interesado los diferentes tipos de vino y cómo se elaboran, ¡así que me ha encantado ver que la madera es una parte tan importante de la elaboración del vino!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Latest Stories

This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.