Hardcore oak facts


Why does wine have to be stored on oak?
The storage of wine in oak barrels activates a slow process of maturing and ripening. Besides that the wine extracts scents like vanilla from the wood. This renders the wine more structurally complex and results in a wine with more subtleties in taste. As well as that, oak ripening adds extra tannins to the wine, which gives it more strength and potential to improve and develop with age.

Is every type of oak okay?
No. There are many types of wood, in all price categories: Hungarian, Russian, Slovenian, German. The most highly sought after are American and French. American oak is fast growing and has a long grain. This results in the wine taking on an overbearing wood scent and a rough, stiff taste. American oak barrels are used a lot in Australian wine production because they speed up maturation which makes the process cheaper.   The most beautiful oak wood originates from Allier in central France. It's sawn from slow growing giants of the forest, the wood of which has a fine, compact grain. This results in a ripening process that is balanced and calm. These Allier barriques give the wine a certain level of nuance and complexity, rather than the hard tannins of American wood.

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