Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Barrel

For the larger volumes of wine I am starting to make, I am starting to purchase larger-sized barrels.  Prior to this, I used oak chips and spirals, and also had one small barrel.  My first large barrel was delivered and sitting in the driveway when I arrived home from picking up the Zin and Barbera grapes in Durham.  What a pleasant surprise!  It is a 32-gallon Vadai Hungarian Oak Barrel. I've been very happy with the 8-gallon Vadai barrel I purchased earlier this year, so I think I am going to stick with them. Not only do they provide great flavor enhancements, but they are economical. To give you an example, a $275 32-gallon Vadai barrel is much more affordable than a $480 29-gallon French barrel.

This barrel will first be used to store the 2010 NC Syrah. With this size barrel, I believe I will be able to leave the wine in it for a full year.  But it is important to taste regularly to make sure the wine doesn't become over-oaked.

Right now I have it outside to hydrate since the weather has been warm and dry. It should finish hydrating this week so I can fill it over the weekend.