History of oenology

Long, the barrel was one of the only means of storage and transportation of wine. The emergence of new materials easier to use did not cause its death, as one might think, but it caused an evolution of its use in oenology. Indeed, oak wood, for its porosity and its ability to yield compounds, fundamentally alters the wine. Long remained empirical, this influence has been the subject of ongoing research to explain some physico-chemical changes in wine throughout its stay in barrels.

In parallel, an improvement of knowledge about oak has allowed a better mastery of cooperage practices. Today, these findings allow the oenologist to optimize oak aromatic and taste effects on wine by varying the following parameters:

  • choice of the origin of the wood: American oak, European oak
  • choice of the levels of heating
  • completion of alcoholic or malolactic fermentation in barrels, or aging of wine in barrels

The cost of using barrels, however, restricts their use to high-end wines. However, other categories of wine, in particular local wines and a number of other wines could benefit from the use of the barrel, but the price of the barrels do not allow such a practice.

Determined to take advantage of the beneficial effect of wine and oak, the new wine producing countries (Australia, South America, USA, South Africa…) developed the use of staves, chips and pellets during the wine making process, so much so that it became an oenological practice common in these countries.
During tests carried out over several years on local wines, this prac- tice has given entire satisfaction to the various stakeholders in the wine industry:

  • for winemakers and oenologists, because the proper use of these products allows a significant improvement in wine quality and better sale prices
  • for dealers and traders, as this practice allows them to offer reaso- nably priced products that meet market requirements

QUERVIN chips are a true oenological tool enabling a new approach to the use of oak during winemaking. All the knowledge about oak and cooperage practices have been gathered in our products. QUERVIN products allow you to optimize your oak heating parameters.