One of the containers as important as the bottle in which we see our favorite wine is the barrel where it was brought, obviously we can see them very few times cause it is there where wine remains before bottling and that process is beyond our eyes. But there’s no doubt that the barrel is part of the process of development of many wines.
The barrels often have a capacity of around 220 liters; the size is approximately one meter high by 60 centimeters wide. Another detail of barrels is that they always have one or two metal strips that hold the wood. Some barrels usually have taps, others more rustic just a hole right in the middle of the barrel.
“The life of a barrel usually lasts around 40 years”
Sizes and types of barrels
Barrels come in many sizes and different capacities. The most popular barrel for wine making is the one called “Bordeaux Barrel” being Bordeaux the “most popular city name in the French wine manufacturing. These barrels are usually made of American and French oak, although they do not reject those made with Romanian, Ukrainian, Spanish and Portuguese oak.
- Bordeaux barrels are found in capacities of: 190 liters (50 kg), 225 liters (50 to 58 kg), 250 liters (52 kg), 300 liters (60 kg), 400 liters (80 kg), 500 liters (95 kg) and 650 liters (105 kg). But we must emphasize that the barrels most used for wine production is 225 liters or 228 liters with a weight of 48 kg.
- The “Botas” are very similar to the oak barrels or casks, they usually are larger and they have more outer metal hoops.. We can find botas with a capacity of 1500 liters, but the most widely used of its kind are about 250 liters.
- The oval barrels are small and with low capacity, they are used for serving wine without bottling, we find them in taverns or homes, some with and some without base. Its capacity can range from 1 liter to 16 liters. They are usually very nice and with many more details than large barrels they are also used for decorating…
- The wine vats or conical tanks are the largest of all, usually oval, with one side wider than the other, “conical”, the larger side is based. The tanks are used to host large quantities of wine, and often Winemaking or wine production is made in this Tanks. The tanks are found in capacities ranging from 1,000 l. to 50.000l..
Barrels give characteristic and more complex flavors and aromas to wine, such as smoky, woody, toasted, leather, snuff … And they are higher in tannins, because apart from the wines tannins the wood of the barrel contributes to enhance them. Do you Want to try an aged wine?, We recommend:
- Legaris Crianza 2007: A Crianza from Ribera del Duero powerful, intense and strong. Ideal to pair with red meats.
- Coto de Imaz Reserva 2004: from Rioja have this good value for money wine, with very evocative scents in nose and in mouth, where tannins are noticed and well rounded. Quite an elegant wine.
- Pintia 2006: A magnificent wine from Toro. Brutal Fruit explosion in the mouth, mixed with complex hints of smoked leather and oak. A great wine.