BENICIA, CA—(Wednesday, February 11, 2015) – Tonnellerie Ô, the Benicia based cooperage, has posted to their YouTube channel four instructional videos on barrel repair and maintenance. The videos are offered free of charge to help wineries maximize their investment in oak barrels for wine fermentation and aging. Hosted by Master Cooper Quinn Roberts, each video includes step-by-step directions for removing barrel heads, replacing barrel heads, and patching both cross-grain and end-grain leaks.
“I’m happy to provide these videos for our industry partners,” says Roberts. “Good barrel care extends the performance and lifetime of each barrel and helps maintain consistent wine quality.”
The two most common barrel repairs are end-grain and cross-grain leaks. End-grain leaks occur in the chime, or the chamfered end of the barrel staves surrounding the head. In one video, Roberts shows barrel workers how to identify the source of the leak, plug it with a wooden spile, and successfully re-seal the pores of the wood for a restored wine-tight barrel. Cross-grain leaks may be found in the wood of both the barrel head and the staves. In the cross-grain leak repair video, Roberts demonstrates how to identify the direction of the grain, patch accordingly with a wooden wedge, and, as with end-grain leaks, finish the job by resealing the pores of the wood.
In another pair of videos Roberts explains and performs the removal and replacement of barrel heads. Barrels are customarily filled with wine through their bungholes, or a small hole in the middle of one of the staves on a barrel’s side. During aging, wine is transferred into and out of barrels through this bunghole in a process called racking. Often, however, barrel heads are removed to create upright fermentation vessels for small-lot winemaking. Roberts walks the viewer through the loosening of hoops, the manipulation of the barrelhead, and the retightening
of hoops so that the barrel is again ready to hold wine.
The videos can be viewed on the Tonnellerie Ô YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtZk8rrYpNveJ0Mh-nIxEQ
Roberts has worked as a cooper in California for more than three decades, first with his father—also a master cooper—and then at Robert Mondavi Winery and Winemakers’ Cooperage of Foster’s/Treasury Wine Estates. He has also worked in cooperages in Cognac and Burgundy, and he travels regularly to France for Tonnellerie Ô to source oak from the forests of Jupilles, Tronçais, Bertranges and Vosges.
Tonnellerie Ô, founded in 2009, is a cooperage of 14 team members who produce 35 to 40 French and American oak barrels per day, including the 225-ltr Bordeaux export barrel, the 228-ltr Burgundy export barrel, the 265-ltr barrel and the 300-ltr Hogshead barrel. For elegant aromatic profiles, French oak for the barrels of Tonnellerie Ô is seasoned on location for 36 months, while American oak is seasoned for a range of 24 to 36 months. Tonnellerie Ô is ISO (International Organization for Standardization)-certified cooperage managed in accordance with the principles of Lean Manufacturing to maximize production efficiency and customer value. For more information on Tonnellerie Ô, please visit: www.tonnellerieo.com