THE CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN OAK (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)
Historically, some of the best oak used in the production of casks for fine wine has come from regions in Eastern Europe; specifically, Memel oak and oak from countries which were located in the former Soviet Union.
Quercus pedunculata and Quercus sessilis are the predominant species of oak that are used for the production of French oak barrels and which also grow throughout Continental Europe.
The European Oak Blend from Heritage Barrels, The Continental, leverages the relationship with our “merrandier éleveur” (wood steward) to produce barrels of exceptional quality, consistently from year to year.
Working with our suppliers in Europe, we select oak logs that are split (merrain) and formed into staves before being aged in our woodyards.
Once again, the relationship between merrandier éleveur and cooper allows us to develop a wine barrel of consistently high quality. Barrels are coopered one at a time to client specifications. The fact that we are a small company allows us to make barrels to customer specifications and also allows us to fine tune the cooperage with the style of our winemaking clients.
AMERICAN OAK 3-YEAR SEASONED (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)
Our tradition of partnership between master cooper and winemaker continues with the Heritage Barrels American oak barrels. Our wood is sourced from the Northern Midwest. The long relationships we have with our wood suppliers enables us to deliver a consistent barrel every year. Logs are harvested during the winter months when the trees are dormant. Quarter-sawing of the raw material insures optimal yield and uncompromising wood integrity in the finished barrel. We hand-select individual staves of American white oak (Quercus alba) free of knots, sapwood and heartwood.
The wood for our barrels is air-dried for a minimum of 36 months, guaranteed. The rough hewn staves are stacked to facilitate extraction of undesirable compounds while enhancing the components that are coveted in the finished barrel, naturally. Our goal is to work with our winemaker clients to craft barrels to their specifications year-to-year.
A crucial step in the crafting of our barrels is the toasting process. Toasting can have a larger impact on the final product than seasoning of the wood, but both are important for the production of quality wine casks. The three polymeric building blocks of wood, cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are modified during the toasting process to release flavors in your wines. Tannins are broken down during the toasting process to release free ellagic and gallic acids. The end result is a barrel that is hand-crafted and contains a balance of lactone, vanillin and smokiness to winemaker specification.
Heritage Barrels only uses wood that has been seasoned for three years in the production of its barrels. The fact that we are an artisanal cooperage allows us to monitor the entire barrel making process, from early stave selections to coopering of the barrel. We work closely with our clients to craft barrels that are tailored to the desires of the winemaker.
We match our wood with your fruit. The partnership that has been around for generations continues.