French Oak Medium Toast Wine Barrels, professionally recooped.
Reconditioning barrels is a more economically and environmentally sustainable practice than simply retiring them and replacing with new oak. When Oak Barrels are restored, you’re doubling the life of the barrel, and bringing your price down to 1/3 – ½ of the price of a new barrel. About 85% of a used or neutral barrel being retired from a barrel aging program is unused oak which has not been touched or saturated by the wine despite the long aging. The recoopering process recovers this precious resource for you, giving you access to premium French oak without the premium price.
To achieve this recovery successfully, all of the wine soaked material must be removed prior to toasting again. Between 1/4” and 5/8” of the inner surface of the barrel, depending on the barrel condition, is removed. Experienced coopers ensure that the used barrels are qualified for reconditioning by testing for leakage and signs of VA before the barrels are selected for restoration. Once the barrel is shaved, the cooper will typically use a hand planer for the final details such as the croze (the groove at the end of staves where the head attaches) before hoisting the barrels up onto racks and then toasting with a set of infrared burners.
After the barrel has been toasted and recoopered, the outside of the barrel is mechanically sanded to restore it's appearance.