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Vinéa Cooperage Wins a Vinitech Sifel Innovation Trophy for its Eclat Hydro-Ceramic Barrel

Posted on December 12, 2018

PRESS RELEASE (December 12, 2019) -- Vinéa Cooperage has developed a barrel using a unique process in which fire is replaced by water. This (r)evolution has just won a Vinitech Sifel Innovation Trophy award.

No other product can be compared to the Eclat Hydro-Ceramic barrel. All other wine barrels produced in the world come into contact with fire at some point. However, the Eclat Hydro-Ceramic barrel is not exposed to flames or smoke. Bending of the staves is carried out using vitalized water vapour. When the Hydro-Ceramic barrel’s staves have been bent and are still saturated with steam, it is immediately cooked through using a ceramic toasting process. The ceramic heat gently infuses into the entire surface of the oak staves resulting, since water conducts more efficiently than air, in an even toasting that penetrates into the heart of the wood. Rather than the notes of toast released during the traditional procedure, the Hydro-Ceramic barrel produces lighter notes of cakes and pastries. The aromas are similar to those released when macaroons are cooking.

The water used to produce the steam is vitalized in the same way as water used in homoeopathy, thanks to a patented alpine system that has been proven to be effective in numerous applications throughout the world. The saturation of the cask oak with vitalized water using this procedure “washes” the tannins, thereby enabling a barrel-ageing process that is even more respectful of the wines, even during short ageing periods. Hood-steaming of the barrel, rather than a bath, is more economical in terms of energy than immersion stave-bending procedures and avoids any risk of contamination. Furthermore, the smoke-free work environment during this procedure is much appreciated by the operators! Vinéa has also developed this toasting method for its Aromoak range of wooden oenological products.

The Vinéa family cooperage was created in 1994; its products are used in wine production all over the world. Taking an innovative approach to toasting, it has developed, among other things, the “Eclat” ceramic toasting method, which enables a very in-depth caramelization of the sugars in the wood (polysaccharides, cellulose, hemicellulose, etc.) without the slightest carbonizing the interior surface, or introduction of external flavours associated with the release of smoke from a brazier. The Eclat Hydro-Ceramic barrel is an application of this toasting technique. Its ageing properties are unique: a barrel that has never been exposed to smoke but has instead received in-depth steam-toasting enables an emphasis on fruit during the ageing process, with the gentle integration of well-rounded, fresh tannins, both in the case of red and white wines.

Available in 225 litre to 500 litre capacities
Prices from €700 ex. tax to €1500 ex. tax
Contact: +33(0)5 46 48 50 98

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