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Barrels of fun

When a winemaker and a grape love each other very much, something special happens. The winemaker commits to a process called barrel fermentation, and if the grape is lucky, the winemaker will choose a new French oak barrel that has been specifically toasted by Radoux for making the wine of his choice. This is true of our Vignoles.

Last year was the first year we experimented with Vignoles in barrels. It was four thumbs up, so we did 10 times as much this year. Two barrels of Vignoles started fermenting Friday and bubbled through the weekend alongside Chardonel, Traminette and Valvin Muscat. The aroma in the cellar was a medley of these wines and it put our noses in cuddle mode.

It also looks cool:

Fermentation starts this week for Catawba, one of our most loved Creekbend wines. Stay tuned!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nancy #

    So how long do you use the barrel and what do you do with it when it’s worn out?

    September 20, 2012
    • Nancy, We use barrels for about 4-6 years. The first time a barrel is used it imparts it’s wonderful oak-y toasty-ness on the wine while helping to smooth out tannins. After a wine barrel is used once, it becomes a neutral barrel. It is an excellent container for aging wines but it does not impart the barrel favors. Our winemaking team uses a mix of new and old (neutral) barrels for every wine so that they can control the amount of new oak characteristics in the wine.

      September 24, 2012
  2. Nancy T Sofiak #

    Do you by any chance sell your old barrels? And if so, how much are they???

    Nancy

    September 24, 2012
    • Hi Nancy, We “recycle” our retired barrels into tour tables and half barrel planters for the landscaping team, so we do not have any to sell.
      The best lead we can give folks for barrels is their local lawn and garden center. Most sell at least half barrels and sometimes (usually in the spring) whole barrels. Thanks!

      September 24, 2012

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