Wine Barrels & Toasting
On a recent visit to Australia's Barossa Valley, I had a chance to stop by Yalumba and see how wine barrels were made and prepared for the winemaking process. Yalumba is one of the few wineries in the world with their own cooperage on-site. This gives the winemaking team more control over quality, price and the final product. Most wineries buy their barrels from cooperages in places like France, Yugoslavia and the U.S. at upwards of $1,200 a barrel.
Wine drinkers would be amazed at how much of wine's taste comes from the type of barrel the winemaker uses. From the type of wood and barrel size to the level of toasting inside the barrel, each wine barrel can have a big impact on a wine's taste.
During this visit I saw standard barriques being made by taking American-grown oak staves and shaping them into barrels that were then toasted to the level of toast defined by the winemaker. This video is raw footage of the tour: