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Bouchard Cooperages: International brokers of fine quality oak wine barrels


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions we are asked. If you do not find the answer that you need, please contact us.

1. Who does what at Bouchard Cooperages?

The Bouchard Cooperages team is a talented group of experienced wine industry professionals.

  • Amber Glastonbury - Australian National Sales Representative & International Barrel Consultant
  • Vincent Bouchard - General Manager, Technical Advisor & International Barrel Consultant
  • Gary Chappell - International Manager - Sales, Operations & Customer Service

See our Staff Directory with phone numbers.

2. Is email communication recommended?

We find that many of our customers use email on a regular basis. In the future, this will be our preferred method of communication with you, particularly to inform you of barrel shipments, special promotions and stock barrel availability.

We are updating our records. If you have not received an email from us in the past six months, we may not have an email address for you. If you would like to be on our email list, please contact us at with your name and winery affiliation.

3. How do I get your current price list?

Either call us and we will send you a copy or download them from our website by submitting our price list request form.

4. Payment in Euros - how is this done?

Les Tonnelleries de Bourgogne and Tonnellerie Bel Air both invoice in Euros, and they will mail you your invoice shortly after your barrels have been delivered. This invoice will include the Cooper's bank account details. If you are authorized to make an international wire transfer, you may wish to pay your invoice in this way. Alternatively you may wish to visit your bank and they will be able to do the transfer for you.

However, if you would prefer to pay in $AUD, please contact Chad Grier (Western Union) at

5. How can I determine currency exchange rates?

Use the Currency Converter at Western Union Business Solutions.

This is a multi-lingual currency converter with up to date exchange rates provided from leading market data contributors and is filtered for validity. To get the exchange rates for any of the 164 currencies, select the desired currencies, as well as the date, language, and amount for which you would like to conduct the currency conversion.

Please use the currency converter as a guide to how much your Euro invoice will be once converted. To make payment in $AUD, please contact Chad Grier (Western Union) at

6. What is Early Delivery Pricing and why do we offer it?

We offer early order pricing as it offers advantages to both the coopers and wineries. Bringing the barrels in early allows the coopers to spread out their production and shipments so more wineries can be serviced during the year. Wineries that order early are not only rewarded with a significantly lower cost per barrel, but also receive the guarantee that they will have barrels in their cellars prior to harvest.

7. When will the ordered barrels arrive?

This information is on the order confirmation you receive from us. It includes the ETA into port for the container with your barrels. Please add a two-week margin to that date for actual delivery to your winery. For specific details, please speak with Amber at 0401 955 976.

8. When do I need to pay my invoice?

Upon approved credit terms, your invoice will be emailed to you from the Cooperages, and is due 30 days from when the barrels are delivered.

9. How do I prepare my new barrels for use?

Please read these instructions on preparing new barrels. This traditional method will prepare your barrels for use after only 24 hours!

10. Can you give me exact barrel dimensions?

Absolutely. They are most easily viewed on our website (see the links below), or call us for a printed list per Cooper.

Read the stats on the barrels from:

11. What about used barrels?

We do not sell used barrels, but we can point you in the right direction. Contact us for recommendations.

12. Do you sell barrels to home-winemakers?

Yes, absolutely!

13. What is the smallest quantity of barrels you will sell?


14. What is the difference between American and French oak?

Read our special Forest Origin Comparison article.

15. Why are French oak barrels so much more expensive than American oak barrels?

The most significant reason is the smaller yield obtained from a log of French oak vs. American oak (see the next question). Another factor is the current high value of the Euro relative to the US dollar.

16. What is the difference between split vs. quarter-sawn wood?

French oak is physiologically different in structure than American oak, and requires hand splitting. This is one of the primary reasons why French oak barrels cost more than American oak barrels.

American oak (Quercus alba) is richer in tyloses, which seal the pores and tubes of the wood. This means American oak is generally less porous than the French variety. Being impermeable, the American oak can be sawn into staves rather than hand-split along the grain of the wood, as is required for French oak (Q. petraea and Q. robur), to prevent leakage. Sawing the oak into staves means that coopers can use over twice as much wood from each log in stave production.

17. What does a barrel do during the maturation process to improve wine?

A barrel performs two important functions. It allows a very slow introduction of oxygen into the wine and imparts the character of the wood into the wine. This diagram is the best we have seen to explain this process.

18. I have a leaky barrel - how do I get it fixed?

First read about barrel repairs on our website. We have detailed directions on repairing both "end grain" and "side" leaks.

If you still have a question, please call Amber 0401 955 976 who will make the necessary transport and repair arrangements.

19. What is the warranty on our barrels?

One year guarantee against leakage.


Bouchard Cooperages