The best of french oak
The origin of french single barrel wood
Single Barrel wood is what has given French Oak its good reputation. Going back to ancestral times, the Coopers used Oak to make barrels for the wine and alcohol to mature in. This is how they got their taste and colour.
Oak wood is easy to split in the direction of the grain. The wood staves /single barrel wood that is /are produced are waterproof, and provide the curves that the future barrels will take. They shouldn’t have any knots and have to have very fine rings. They are slightly porous which allows the necessary chemical reactions to take place in order for the wine to mature.
A touch selection for anew purpose
Only 30% of the transformed oak wood using this procedure will be used to produce single Barrel wood. The other 70% is lost and will be used as fire wood. The life span of a barrel is only a few years. After that it doesn’t produce enough tannin or flavouring. If the wood has lost its qualities for wine it becomes a unique material to furnish your interior with warmth and authententicity.
Recycling single barrel wood
The exterior aspect of a barrel has nothing to do with what we find on the inside, nor its capacity to be transformed into a piece of furniture.
Scale deposits, burns, blisters and the wine colour are the deep or shallow imprints left in the wood fibres by the heat used by Coopers, and the wine. The Recycling of Wood staves/ single barrel wood is a delicate compromise where all different options are possible whether it be the restoration of the wood for Cabinet makers to use or the preservation of the marks of it past use.
Working on wood staves can be technically difficult. The different procedures used for the transformation includes adapting existing machinery, but also the creation of specific templates, machining, and mounting jigs, in order to respect the curve of the wood staves when assembling the different parts.
Metal parts made specially for this porpose are used for the assembly. This association of wood and steel recalls the origin of the raw material.
So the technologies used therefore fall into several professions: cabinet making, boiler making, and cooperage.