Winemaking practices: Oak Barrels
Oak barrels have been used as a vessel to transport wine for thousands of years. Other than transportation, they can also affect the wine both in feeling and in flavour. All oak barrels will affect the feeling, as they let in tiny amounts of air, which allows the wines to slowly age, soften the tannins and feel more pleasant and drinkable. This is useful with austere, rigid wines that need help softening.
Not all oak barrels will add flavour to wine. We distinguish between new oak barrels and old oak barrels. New oak means that the barrels have not
been rinsed with wine yet or have been in use a maximum of two times. These new oak barrels will impart some sweet spice, vanilla, coconut and dill flavours. Old oak barrels have used many times and have now lost the ability to add flavour to wines. This is useful when you need to soften an austere wine but want to keep the purity of the fruit and not add any extra aromas.