Storage of the wine in one barrel with the purpose of subjecting it to a maturation process. Barrels can be made of different materials, but when removing barrels, a wooden barrel is usually meant. Barrel size, barrel age, type of barrel and the type of production have a major influence on the process and length of the ripening process. The one ultimately used barrel type results primarily from the desired wine style. Very often, however, wine descriptions in connection with the vinification do not clearly indicate the type of wooden barrel in which the wine was grown. Because the type of expansion is legally not subject to disclosure.
If not explicitly " Barrique "," French / American / Slavonian barrique "or" small barrel "(small oak barrel, small wooden barrel) is mentioned as a designation, it is probably a" larger (non-toasted) wooden barrel ", i.e. larger than 350 liters (Up to this volume, a barrel is also considered a barrel barrel). Is called " large wooden barrel "," Traditional barrel "or" traditional expansion "(or analogous), then it is very likely not a barrel barrel. See for the different international names under barrel,
At a Barrique it is the primary goal, thereby flavorings of the wood in the wine. These are preferably made of barrels Oak wood that one toasting (Roasting). The larger the barrel, the smaller the ratio of surface area to wine volume. That means the smaller the barrel, the more flavors get from the wood into the wine. The proportion is already relatively small above 600 liters. However, the trend is in this direction and there are tests with toasted barrels over 500 liters. Barrique barrels can only be used three times, however, then the wood is drained. If the wood tone ( toast flavor ) should not play a role, untoasted wooden barrels of larger volume are used again and again. These can reach a venerable age of many decades and more. The disadvantage of wooden barrels compared to stainless steel tanks is the time-consuming cleaning and difficult temperature control.
As a rule, barrels are removed for longer-lived wines. He prepares them optimally for the bottle aging before and has a positive effect on the durability out. It also stabilizes the colour and achieved a taste improvement. Above all, this depends on the contact that comes with the barrel expansion oxygen together, which, in contrast to the expansion in stainless steel, takes place constantly through the barrel wall pores. This effect is regular racking (Decanting) intensified because air gets into the barrel. In the first phase of the expansion, the barrels with the bung stored upwards. A loss of evaporation is compensated for by regular refilling, which also leads to an air supply. Later the barrels are turned to the "2 o'clock position" so that the bunghole is below the wine level. Oxygen absorption promotes the polymerization of anthocyanins and tannins and thus the formation of depot (Sediment).
Filling into the barrel is usually done after the alcoholic fermentation, for red wines alternatively only after completion of the malolactic fermentation (Both can already be done in wooden barrels) The length of the expansion can be from several months to several years. A possible one blend wines can take place immediately after fermentation or gradually during the expansion, for example in the course of parting off. An alternative takes place towards the end of the expansion beautiful and / or one filtration instead of. The maturation process in the individual barrels is slightly different. Therefore, an alternate takes place leveling (Mix together) to achieve a uniform wine quality and bottles deviations to avoid. A micro-oxygenation (Macro oxygenation) can shorten the duration or is a possible alternative to long barrel expansion.
See also under the topic oxidative expansion and reductive expansion, A list of relevant keywords is under the keyword barrel cited. Complete lists of the numerous vinification measures or cellar techniques, as well as the types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate are under the keyword winemaking contain. There is extensive wine law information under the keyword wine law,