Choosing your barrel toasting is a crucial point in the winemaking process. We call it “aromatic cooking” or bousinage in French. It differs from the step when the barrel is heated to bend its staves, during the assembling.
Winemakers and oenologists typically ask for multiple adjustments, year after year, depending on the vintage and their objectives. Picking the toasting of an oak barrel is a constantly moving art.
The toasting depends on the desired taste and structure, but also on the variety of grapes that are used, as well as on the general winemaking conditions.
A white wine will of course not react like a red one. In a more specific way, a chardonnay will not have the same exigencies, depending on its terroir. For example, you might not choose the same toasting, if you are dealing with a chardonnay from Chablis and another from South Africa.
As coopers, we work hand in hand with you to meet your specific needs and share our expertise. Each case is particular: the making of a great wine does not follow a recipe as precise as the one for an industrial soda.
Beyond the terroir of the wood and the craftsmanship that the cooper deploys to make a barrel, the toasting reflects his core “manufacturing secret”. At this peculiar step, the cooper brings his unique touch.
Our craftsmen rely on their past experiences, but also on their pure feeling, thanks to their eyesight, touch and smell. Just like for the wine that it’s about to receive, the barrel has an olfactory truth that engages all the senses.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss this matter more precisely.