For centuries, wines of distinction have been crafted through the union of perfectly seasoned wood and fine coopering. The same can be said between the cooper and the “merrandier éleveur” (wood steward).
Giraud takes the same approach in producing artisanal barrels to client specifications and through attention to detail. Based in Cognac, France, Giraud is the partnership between Gontran Beaudoin, a merrandier éleveur, and a local artisanal cooper. Although now considered a “modern concept”, this type of association has been around for generations in Cognac, where the négociant supplies his seasoned wood to an outside cooper for the production of his own barrels.
Gontran Beaudoin, a Bordeaux and Cognac trained enologist, started his career in the wine industry at his family owned distillery. Thus, Gontran understands the importance of carefully selecting and seasoning the wood that will be used in the production of his barrels. Forest selections, grain tightness and toasting regimes are all developed in close associations with winery clients to craft barrels of distinction that complement wines around the world.
Our wood seasoning yard, located near Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure, provides a climate and annual rainfall that is conducive to the gentle seasoning of the wood that extracts undesirable tannins naturally while augmenting sweet oak and spice aromas that winemakers covet.
Giraud offers French oak exclusively, sourced from the privately owned forests of France. Giraud’s partnership with the Cognaçais savoir-faire allows us to offer an exceptional consistency, which has been developed and fine tuned over generations.
Gontran has developed a protocol of wood aging that has been very successful in the winemaking programs of our clients. He offers two seasoning regimes:
- VS (Very Special) – The wood for this barrel is a proprietary selection of forests which has been seasoned for a minimum of 24 months.
- XOV (Extra Old Vintage) – The wood for this barrel is a proprietary selection of forests which has been seasoned for a minimum of 36 months.
Although we feel a blend of wood will offer more consistency year-to-year, we know winemakers have a preference for the wood that is used to make their barrels, therefore forest specific blends are also available.