So, where do you think these two, initially, unlikely partners would meet? Yes of course, in the Wine Barrel. One of our French suppliers are experts in the Barrel market, their buyer is always looking for large trees of a first class quality for this market.
The picture shows a couple of the logs of the dimensions that they look for in the French forests. Now our colleague is about 5′ 7″ tall so you can see that these logs are quite large. As a result the price for these logs reaches nearly double what we pay for first quality plank. These boules are destined to be made in barrel staves.
But there is another area that Oak and Wine meet. Obviously a vast amount of wine is now produced using more mdern methods through stainless steel vats. Other than being a clean and robust container, they give little to the character of the wine, our suppliers then make various alternatives to flavour the wine, from net bags of small cuts of Oak to short staves. These are ‘toasted’ to give different flavours.
- Fresh Oak – smoothness, intence coco aromas
- Light Toast – vanilla, coco, fresh Oak aromas
- Medium toast – vanilla with some sweet notes of coco & spices
- Medium+ toast – complexity, vanilla, spices, cacao
- High Toast – rich content of toasted empyreumatic notes
So you can see, there is more to timber than you first thought. It is natural, renewable, versatile, beautiful and clearly, flavoursome!!