how france dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines
Last Updated : GMT 00:54:23
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

How France dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today How France dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines

High quality French barrels contain an elite club of wines
Jonzac - AFP

Crafted by artisans using high quality oak, "Made in France" wine barrels -- in which age some of the world's most expensive wines -- are selling like hot cakes abroad, with exports making up 70 percent of the market.

The barrels house an elite club of wines, with only two to four percent fermenting in these prized oak containers. Other wines usually age in concrete or steel tanks.  

While the barrel market dipped slightly in 2014 after 20 years of solid growth, the industry is still going strong.

"The barrel market has reached maturity," said Jean-Luc Sylvain, who heads the French Federation of Coopers (Federation des tonneliers), or barrel makers.

For most manufacturers, it's all about the wood. One doesn't necessarily have to be a wine connoisseur to know that the drink gets much of its flavour from the wood it is stored in -- oak in particular.  

"The key to the business is the selection of the wood," said Francois Moriniere, director general of Oeneo, a company that produces barrels and casks.

That's why coopers employ full-time wood buyers, an important part of the barrel making process. These wood wizards crisscross the country in search of the perfect raw material.

"We work with French history," said Gael Morrissonneau, buyer for French company Radoux, which controls about a quarter of the global barrel market.

For most manufacturers, it's all about the wood. One doesn't necessarily have to be a wine connoisseur to know that the drink gets much of its flavour from the wood it is stored in -- oak in particular.  

"The key to the business is the selection of the wood," said Francois Moriniere, director general of Oeneo, a company that produces barrels and casks.

That's why coopers employ full-time wood buyers,

One of the best woods to make wine barrels is sessile oak, dating back to the plantations started by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, finance minister for France's legendary king Louis XIV, initially to build ships.

Now some of the country's highest quality oaks are found in the forests of Berce, Loches, and Troncais in western and central France. The wood grows slowly, which gives it a high-quality grain.

A single oak can cost up to 2,500 euros ($2,770) -- a price that only the niche cooper industry can afford.

And prices are known to spike sharply higher, said Morrissonneau, because many auctions are blind, prompting buyers to offer elevated prices for prized trees.

Often only 20 percent of the wood is even used to make the barrels, with the rest of it going to paper mills or made into "wood for oenology" -- which includes wood chips winemakers in some countries add to the grapes to give them a "woody" flavour.

- High-tech methods -

The barrel making process can take several years. After being cut, logs are left to dry out for two to three years in a highly controlled environment to avoid contamination.

Then comes the special process of sorting the wood for the barrels.

Originally, this was done by the naked eye, with coopers evaluating each piece of wood based on the growth rings. But now manufacturers are using high-tech methods to help clients achieve the best flavour profile.

At Radoux, for example, the staves -- strips of wood that make the sides of the barrel -- pass under an infrared sensor that "gives information on the type of chemical bonds in the material", said Nicolas Mourey, head of research and development at Radoux.

And at Seguin-Moreau, part of the Oeneo group, the chemical composition of each piece of wood is evaluated via a mathematical model to predict the wood's "oenological potential".

The staves are then heated and slowly tightened into a barrel shape -- a magical moment that "reveals the aromas, sugars, vanilla and chocolate," said Pierre-Guillaume Chiberry, sales manager at Radoux.

While these coopers use techniques that are centuries old, they also follow the latest trends in the wine market.

In the 1980s the "woody" taste was very popular, led by the influential American wine critic Robert Parker.

"Clients today ask us for barrels that emphasize more the fruit," said Sylvain.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

how france dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines how france dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

how france dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines how france dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Japanese regulators raid Airbnb

GMT 00:44 2017 Monday ,20 November

Japanese regulators raid Airbnb
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Saudi, Bahrain target Iran

GMT 00:48 2017 Monday ,20 November

Saudi, Bahrain target Iran
Arab Today, arab today Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career

GMT 06:46 2017 Sunday ,19 November

Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck

GMT 02:59 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck
Arab Today, arab today Baidu speeds up AI progress

GMT 11:46 2017 Friday ,17 November

Baidu speeds up AI progress
Arab Today, arab today Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”

GMT 12:22 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 08:06 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 02:28 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Anti-drug operation nets 4 tonnes

GMT 01:34 2017 Friday ,17 November

Banyan Tree Phuket Takes Festive Season

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday