The Barrel Blog

Charring Spirits Barrels

August 1st, 2015 by

We’ve done a few more bourbon barrels this year than past years, and it’s always an amazing day here.

First off, you can smell it even before you turn into the parking lot. When you enter the cooperage, there are several stages, but the most impressive portion is the charring.

As the fires in the braziers grow in both size and intensity, the coopers then use the toasting lid. The lid helps to keep all oxygen out.

After a certain amount of time (varies depending on char level)—they remove the lid. That feeds the fire oxygen, leading to larger flames and a blast of heat for the barrel. The word is burned, and the char is created.


The coopers then use water to put the fire out.

Employee of the Year

April 21st, 2015 by

Three cheers for Cooper Carlos Quintero!

He was named our 2014 Employee of the Year & takes exquisite care of your barrels.

Carlos Quintero

VWM Best Barrel Supplier

March 13th, 2015 by

We were very honored to learn we had been named “Best Barrel Supplier” by readers of Vineyard & Winery Management, in their third annual Best Wine Industry Suppliers survey.


Three years in a row! We’re very proud – thank you!

New in 2015: Chips added to oak alternatives range

February 13th, 2015 by

We were excited to add ŒNOCHIPS to our oak alternatives range this year.

They provide balanced new oak with a more rapid extraction rate of one to four months.

The chips come in 20 lb. infusion bags and are available in two distinct blends, R02 and R03, designed for complexity and targeted objectives.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

December 31st, 2014 by

At the end of 2014, we send our best wishes for your holidays and the upcoming New Year.

We raise our glasses and toast to the perfect balance of craftsmanship and technology—in the cooperage, vineyard and cellar.

Cheers from everyone at Seguin Moreau! Here’s to 2015!


Napa Earthquake

September 2nd, 2014 by

We were extremely fortunate and grateful that all here at SMNC were safe and sound after the August 24th early-morning earthquake of 6.0 magnitude.

Some small repairs were completed in the cooperage, and new barrels at our warehouse were all okay.

Thank you very much to those of you who reached out to see how we are doing.

We know it is a great challenge for many in our community to recover from the devastating damage at their homes and wineries. Our thoughts go out to all of our Napa neighbors who are suffering, and we wish speedy recoveries.

Clear Stave Tanks at Pahlmeyer

August 9th, 2014 by

In August, SMNC General Manager Christopher Hansen joined Pahlmeyer Wine owner Jayson Pahlmeyer in christening their brand-new 55 HL French oak tanks.

The first of their kind here in the US, each is custom-fitted with one transparent plexiglass stave, which allows viewing of the whole winemaking process.

For a look at the christening, please click the image below, which links to the Facebook page:


Prior to their arrival, winemaker Kale Anderson also wrote about the tanks on the Pahlmeyer Blog.

Our Twentieth Anniversary

July 31st, 2014 by

On a Thursday evening in July, exactly 19 years and 364 days after the end pieces of the cooperage building were lifted in place, we celebrated 20 years of Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage.

July 1994


Original president Alain Fouquet was on hand as special guest, toasting the crowd. Seguin Moreau CEO Nicolas Mahler-Besse brought well wishes from our team in France. And SMNC GM Christopher Hansen welcomed the crowd.

Anniversary Party

The years have flown by—and we’re looking forward to many more here in the beautiful Napa Valley.

20th Anniversary


ICÔNE Blanc Joins the ICÔNE Range

May 12th, 2014 by

White wines need ICÔNE love too! We’re excited to welcome Blanc to the ICÔNE range—it provides a delicate oak profile, while adding volume & length on the palate. And it’s available with AQUAFLEX toasting, as well as fire toasting.


April Updates

April 17th, 2014 by

Twenty years ago, we started construction for the future home of Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage:

Cooperage Groundbreaking

And giving three cheers for Cooper Antonio Camarillo! He was named our 2013 Employee of the Year (not his first time for the honor either). He takes such good care of our barrels:

Antonio Camarillo