Oak barrel catalogue
What are wine barrels made of?
The very first vessels made of palm wood were used to transport wine from Armenia to Babylon, as mentioned by Herodotus, and the Celts were the first to use oak barrels to transport food and liquids. The Romans, thanks to whom winemaking appeared in many European countries, mainly used clay amphorae for these purposes. But gradually barrels replaced amphorae, because wooden vessels were lighter and stronger than clay ones.
The use of barrels for wine maturation has become, let's say, a derivative of their original purpose. Perhaps the positive influence of wood on wine was discovered by chance when merchants noticed that the drinks bought in barrels after several weeks on the road were transformed and acquired a softer and spicier character.
I recommend watching the oak barrel catalogue
Wine barrels were tried to be made from chestnut, palm, acacia, maple, pine, but oak took root best of all. In total, several types of this wood are used for a wine barrel. Let's arrange them in decreasing order by quality:
French oak. The most popular wood for storing fine wine. It contains a lot of tannins that are involved in a chemical reaction. French oak is also divided into subspecies: Limousin wood is good for cognac and dense wine, Vosges wood perfectly softens aromas and tannins and is suitable for powerful wines, wood from Tronce forests gives bright notes and evens tannin.
American oak. This wood makes dense and heavy barrels, which are best suited for storing bourbon. This wood gives bright nuances of vanilla.
Eastern European oak. It is considered the most suitable for aging white wine.
Caucasian oak. It contains a lot of tannins and practically no iron. It is often used to store wine.