About Bouchard Cooperages
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Price Lists
Barrel Care and Repair
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Frequently Asked Questions
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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.

  • Vincent Bouchard - General Manager, Technical Advisor & International Barrel Consultant
  • Gary Chappell - International Manager - Sales, Operations & Customer Service
  • Carrie Tides - International Barrel Consultant
  • Roberta Manell Montero - International Barrel Consultant
  • Jim Stetson - International Barrel Consultant
  • Mary Delaney - International Barrel Consultant
  • Sarah Lanzen - International Oak Alternatives Consultant
  • Rachel Bobbs - Logistics Coordinator
  • Kris Conemac - Accounting Director
  • Tammy Hill - Administrative Coordinator

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 do 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?

Our French and European Oak barrels are invoiced in Euros so our coopers can offer the lowest price per barrel. A Euro price allows them to avoid adding significant markups needed to cover potential exchange rate fluctuations.

Bouchard Cooperages now offers several easy methods of payment. You can pay your EURO invoices by VISA or Mastercard, wire transfer of EUROS, or you can pay by $US Dollar check through AscendantFX.

To pay your Euro invoices in US Dollars, simply contact Ed Casey at Ascendant FX Capital via email,, or call him at 925-283-2526.


Each of our coopers has an account with AscendantFX, so our customers are not required to provide any information other than a copy of their invoice or order confirmation. Simply fax or email AscendantFX your Euro invoice or order confirmation, and they will send you a converted invoice in $USD. Mail your $USD check payable to AscendantFX, and they will credit the appropriate amount of Euros to each cooperage with instructions to apply the payment to your invoice.

Customers of Bouchard Cooperages can also contact AscendantFX to fix the exchange rate at the time of their order. This simple transaction, known as a forward contract, allows our customers to know the total $USD cost at the time of their order, and eliminates any risk from fluctuations in the exchange rate. Please contact Ed Casey at 925-283-2526 for more information.

To pay your invoice by VISA or Mastercard, please contact our office. To pay by wire transfer of Euros, please refer to your invoice. Each invoice displays bank information and wire transfer instructions. For any questions about these, please contact our office.

AscendantFX can also wire Euros to the cooperage for invoice settlement, at a much lower cost than most banks.

Our office is always available to assist you with paying your invoices. We will do everything in our power to make your transaction as painless as possible. For more information on our payment options please call us at 707-257-3582 or send us an email.

5. How can I determine currency exchange rates?

Contact: Ed Casey at AscendantFX
Tel: 925-283-2526

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

We have offered early order pricing for almost ten years, 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 invoice you receive from each cooper. 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 call our office (707-257-3582) to speak with Kris.

8. When do I need to pay my invoice?

Upon approved credit terms, the invoice is payable net 30 days from the time that you receive notification from Bouchard Cooperages or the warehouse that your barrels are available for pickup or delivery.

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 can point you in the right direction. We recommend searching Wine Country Classified's weekly newsletter or website ( for a listing of wineries with available used barrels.

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 our office (707)-257-3582 to speak with Rachel, who will make the necessary transport and repair arrangements. Once Rachel has the details, she will contact Barrel Builders, our cooperage repair specialist, who will make the repairs with the Coopers' own wood. You should also always feel free to contact your sales representative directly.

19. What is the warranty on our barrels?

One year guarantee against leakage.


Bouchard Cooperages