Over the centuries wood has been used in winemaking, as much for logistical reasons, as for technical purposes. Wood, mostly oak, was in the past the only fashionable material for wine’s storage and transportation; nowadays it has come to be a tool for wine’s organoleptic improvement. Its oxygen permeability eases wine’s stabilisation, its porous nature allows imbibing and enables alcohol to extract those spiced, balsamic, vanilla-like aromatic compounds that will improve mellowness and emphasize the compounding fruit’s flavours and aromas. The better the oak’s quality is, the more relevant and qualitative its aromatic bequest and wine’s final olfactory integrity.
The most quali-quantitatively imparting oak barrels hold between 225 and 500 lt.
Barriques, the 225lt barrels, are the most appreciated and globally spread ones. As for the types of wood used, the best results in terms of sweetness and softness of ceded aromas come from oak.
It is crucial during wine’s possible maturation in oak prevent oxidation from excessive permanence, thus excessive extraction of oak’s aromatic compounds. Oak’s notes should never overwhelm, nor standardize, cover or adulterate the fruit’s natural aroma and flavour. Whereas the quantity of imported vanillin acid was excessive, the wine would show the ‘’ligneus’’ defect.