barrels

Casks and Tanks

Le grand art de la tonnellerie

In the heart of the Merpins cooperage in Cognac, there is a giant workshop where large barrels (“foudres”), tanks and casks ranging from 10 to 1,200 hectolitres are made and assembled.

This savoir faire is true craftsmanship and requires specific woodworking skills.

The foundation is the same as for barrels: the best Haute Futaie French oak. For casks and tanks, our wood buyers look for the straightest trees, requiring logs with an even texture and a dense, consistent fiber.

Fire helps the staves bend slowly and permanently, ensuring stability. It is adapted to the cask’s size and requires meticulous preparation before gentle, prolonged toasting. The long toasting promotes the moderate breakdown of lignin and a homogeneous, deep transformation of tannins.

Coopers tighten the heads using a patented technique and use the traditional hooping method. They hammer the hoops into place by hand, significantly improving water tightness compared to mechanized hooping. It applies upward pressure, rather than downward, making for a tighter grip.

Vinification benefits:

  • Perfectly controlled temperature during fermentation
  • Reductive aromas prevented with micro-oxygenation through the wood
  • Caramelized substances from toasting are transformed during fermentation, giving complex aromas.
  • The combination of anthocyanins and ellagitannins provides structure, and stabilizes the wine’s color.
  • Carbon dioxide escapes rapidly, and clarification occurs naturally at the end of fermentation.

Aging:

  • Careful oxidation favors a slow and regular structuring.
  • Increased surface area makes blending and treating wines easier.
  • Essential in blending spirits, and helps preserve the bouquet at the end of aging.

Finishing touches:

  • Hand-painted galvanized hoops
  • A layer of linseed oil to protect the body of the vat, without sealing and blocking the pores

For SEGUIN MOREAU, the quality and the good working order of our equipment is as important as the intrinsic quality of the wood and work carried out by our team. Each of our containers includes the accessories necessary for working with wines and spirits.

Please contact us for a brochure and more details.