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02.06.2009

Vinography Images: The Tonnellerie

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The Tonnellerie
The toasting of barrels in a Tonnellerie (or cooperage) serves two purposes -- to shape the barrel to its final form, and to season the wood. The heating process dramatically alters the woods physical and chemical composition. The resulting seasoning or "toast" provides a buffer between the alcohol in wine and the tannins in the wood. In general, the less a barrel is toasted the more tannins and other wood characteristics will be leached into the wine by alcohol. Wine matured in lightly toasted barrels therefore tends to taste "oaky" or "woody," while wine matured in heavily toasted barrels is more likely to taste "toasty" or "spicy." (Source: The Oxford Companion to Wine).

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Comments (4)

John Skupny wrote:
02.08.09 at 6:04 PM

Nice shot - Andy - I can conjur up the aroma of vanilla, fresh bread lightly toasted and all.....though the reality is when you are in that room at a Tonnellerie, OSHA would have a heyday!

Dirty wrote:
02.09.09 at 4:15 AM

The detail on this photo is incredible.

I really enjoy Andy's shots on here.

Dylan wrote:
02.09.09 at 8:14 AM

Great shot. Unfortunately, I have never seen this process in person but one Sunday I did manage to catch it on an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. The shaping was a lot fun to watch. It really is an admirable profession/craft.

Josh wrote:
02.17.09 at 11:17 AM

Beautiful shot!

I hope they stop them at the medium toast level or lower though! Hate that over-charred oak in wine.

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