Our company would not have come into being without a close partnership with professionals who specialize in the selection of oak and transforming it into staves.
Any winemaker knows that without the finest raw materials, there can be no great wine. This is also how we think about our barrels.
The choice of wood
Find out more
Find out more
The choice of wood
We work in close collaboration with family-run stave mills, who share the same philosophy of craftsmanship and quality that we do.
These companies are committed to a traceability process that rules out any negligence regarding the origin of the wood, its quality, and the drying time.
We work with over sixty different forests located mainly in Central France. (Vierzon, Saint Palais, Allogny, Bercé, Senonches, Fontainebleau, etc.).
After the trees are felled, the oak is split and cut into staves according to industry best practices to preserve the grain of the wood.
Our regular visits have always confirmed that these workshops always comply with the highest standards of quality.
Our suppliers then dry the wood on their sites, which are located near the forests and far away from any sources of pollution.
We prefer a natural drying period of 18 to 24 months, because we believe that the staves should be neither too young nor too old.
If the staves are too young, they add green tannins to the wine; and if the staves are too old, they lack compounds useful to the wine.
This is where we come in, selecting batches of staves according to our customers’ needs.
We pay special attention to the origin of the wood and its aromatic profile.
Depending on its terroir and tannins, each wood origin will add its own aromatic characteristics to the wine. Our job is to define the profile of each forest to discover the blend or the pure origin that will meet the customer’s expectations.
The grain, whether fine or medium-fine, and the origin of the forest have a major influence on the style of the barrel.
Today, toasting is the only way to define the aromatic profile of each forest.
More than twenty years of contact with winemakers has led us to deeply reflect on the relationship between wood and wine.
This shared desire to achieve harmony between barrel and wine has led us to pay special attention to our manufacturing processes.
Our method is based on toasting and we are guided by olfaction alone. This is why La Tonnellerie Chassin can adapt our toasting process to your wine.
When we toast our barrels, we are not guided by time or fire temperature. Olfactory information is all that matters, because each wood has a different aromatic potential. Depending on the year, the forest plot, the terroir and the inputs, toasting requirements may differ. Each barrel is therefore unique, and is toasted according to its raw material type and the result desired by the customer.
Olfaction is still the surest way to determine when a barrel is ready.
The toasting process will determine the aromatic impact of the wood on the wine.
Year after year, after tasting wine from thousands of barrels, we have come to the following conclusion.
The quality and intensity of the aromas imparted to the wine depends on when we can detect these aromas during toasting, and whether to continue toasting.
A compromise must be found between the need to thoroughly degrade the wood and the need to preserve its aromatic potential.
Timers and thermometers have not yet been able to replace olfaction, which is still the surest way to determine when a barrel is ready.
Just come into our workshop and smell the barrels as they’re toasting, and you’ll realize how difficult it is, and how much the cooper must do, to make sure that you’re satisfied.
Today, Florian and Stéphane CHASSIN are responsible for toasting all the cooperage’s barrels.