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Bouchard Cooperages: International brokers of fine quality oak wine barrels

Glossary of Terms

Questions? Come across an unfamiliar term like "barre" or "flagging"? Your answers are here in the "Glossary of Terms".

Air Dry
Open air method of seasoning wood in preparation for barrel production (as opposed to artificial kiln drying method).

This refers to the wooden bar crossing both heads of Bordeaux Chateau style barrels. These barres are ornamental in function rather than structural. Also where shippers and wineries place their company name. In Burgundy, Barres are called "choubrette".

Any wooden vessel of any capacity having bent sides and flat ends. It is synonymous with cask, barrique (Bordeaux) and fut (Burgundy). The first barrel was fabricated by the Celts. (See diagram.)

Bordeaux Shape barrel
Barrel Diagram
See larger diagram.
225L capacity barrel with 95cm stave length.

Plug, traditionally wood, now commonly silicone, that goes in bunghole of barrel. (See diagram.)

Burgundy Shape barrel
228L capacity barrel with 90cm stave length.

The center of the barrel where it has its largest diameter.

See "Barrel"

The sloping ends of the staves.

The effect of continually heating the inside of the barrel over an open fire, after it is bent. It usually causes browning, or even blackening of the inside surface of the stave. A certain degree of toasting occurs as a normal result of the manufacturing process.

The end of the stave at the point of the barrel's smallest diameter. The part of the stave into which the groove and chamfer are cut. (See diagram.)

A skilled crafts person who has learned the trade of barrel making through an apprenticeship or formal cooperage program.

The production facility where the barrels are made (the french term is Tonnellerie).

The groove at the end of the stave or barrel cut to accommodate the head.

Small round wooden or metal pins or pegs used to join heading pieces together. (See diagram.)

Smaller bung hole on the barrel head used for racking wine, typically located either at the 6 o'clock or 8 o'clock position.

Dried rush or river reed used in the fabrication of barrel heads.

The flat ends of a barrel or vat. The pieces of wood forming the heads are called head pieces or head staves.

The strips of metal or chestnut wood which hold the barrel together. Galvanized steel is the most common material used, and the ends of each strip are riveted together. The French term is cercles. (See diagram.)

Hoop DriverHoop Driver
The tool used, together with a hammer, to force down the hoops to make the barrel tight. This also applies to a hydraulic machine which performs the same operation.

This term is used for wood that has been artificially dried with heat.

Any large wooden vessel having curved sides.

Hand or mechanical removal of 1 - 3mm of the internal surface of the barrel to remove wine deposits and expose a fresh wood surface.

Small wooden conical-shaped pegs used to seal holes and stop leaks.

The pieces of wood used for the sides of a barrel (in which case they are bent) or a tank. The term is used for the rough - cut material before it is processed, as well as the finished product. The French term is douelle. (See diagram.)

See "Charring."

Any large wooden vessel having straight sides. It is also called a vat.


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