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March 19, 2010

Julia and I recently had the opportunity to tour Tonnellerie Ô, a new cooperage in Benicia – field trip!  It was quite cool to see the high level of automation alongside the craftsmanship and personal attention the coopers give each barrel during assembly.  Particularly impressive was the circular brick toasting room anchoring the main production floor where the barrels are rolled in and out under the watchful eyes and noses of the coopers.  It’s invaluable to be able to see behind-the-scenes when it comes to some of our most expensive and nuanced winemaking tools!

Hopefully I’ll land that trip to Portugal to see a cork factory next!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kara permalink
    March 22, 2010 4:17 pm

    Ohhh, I am so jealous!! I love the smell of toasting barrels. I used to visit Francois Freres in Burgundy on a weekly basis during the bike tours.

    Does the cooperage do only American oak??

  2. March 22, 2010 4:54 pm

    actually, all the oak is sourced from France (Vosges & Center of France), where it is air-dried for a couple years before the staves are shipped to California for the barrel assembly process I witnessed!
    We’ve used just a few Ô barrels in our program thus far – I’m curious to see what kind of impact they’ll contribute to the final blends! we’ll see…

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