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May 2005
Industry Roundtable: Barrels, Alternatives & Aging
A cooper, an oak alternatives expert and a champion of micro-oxygenation discuss what makes a superior barrel, when to use alternatives and how to best apply micro-oxygenation.
by Lance Cutler
As winemakers, we all know that oak, more than any other factor after grape selection, affects the way our wine tastes. Put the same wine in three different barrels, from three different coopers, and the wines will taste different. Consider all of the various oak alternatives, from staves to chips to blocks, and decision making gets more difficult. Finally, there's the aspect of oxygen and its relationship to the development of wine. When and how oxygen is introduced into the winemaking proc...
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