Our process exposes fresh toasted wood so that the barrel is better able to breathe. This allows the maximum oxygenation to occur which is important for the wine maturation process.
Barrels are critical to a wine's formation.
For centuries, wineries have been using the time-honored tradition of barrel aging their wines. Barrel aging consists of two separate aging functions.
The first is extraction in which the phenolics are extracted from the wood into the wine. The second is oxidation in which the components of the wine react to a slight exposure to oxygen through the grain of the wood and the gaps between the staves
How it works
The barrels' ability to allow this gentle oxygenation is beneficial to the structure and character of many wines.
Oxygen allows wine to develop and age gracefully - an occurrence commonly referred to as microoxidation or microoxygenation. In the presence of dissolved oxygen, the small tannin molecules join together to form long chain tannins
These are softer, more supple and far less bitter than the small tannins from which they were built. This process is known to winemakers as polymerisation and is encouraged wherever possible in full bodied style wines.
In a barrel, the extraction of flavor compounds from the oak is always in combination with the oxygen exposure that the barrel allows.
If your barrels have a layer of heavy tartrate build-up, this could severely reduce the natural oxygenation found with barrel aging, thus reducing the flavor being extracted from the oak barrel.
Let us help you ensure that you are getting the maximum oxygenation out of your barrels with our Barrel Blasting process. We remove the tartrate crystals and old wine residue.
What about blisters?
During our barrel process, we open one end of the barrel, smell, and visually inspect the interior. We then scrape and shave open and hand blast any blisters we feel may compromise the integrity of the next batch of wine. We pull aside questionable barrels and alert winemakers to any potential problems and let them decide if a barrel needs to be rejected.
We suggest that blasting immediately after emptying and rinsing of your barrels, but before storage, is the best procedure to keep a good barrel from spoiling. Your barrel will remain clean and fresh inside with less SO2 while in storage.