Who's a cooper? The ancient art of barrel-making

The word “cooper” originates from the barrel makers of Illyria and Cisalpine in Gaul, where wine was stored in wooden vessels 🪵called “cupals,” and the maker was a “cuparius” .Coopers were important craftsmen in the Middle Age.🛡 As trade and transportation developed, shippers discovered that sealed wooden containers were superior to clay vessels ⚱️ and there it was, the craft of cooperage had begun⭐

The advantages of wooden barrels were ☝ their strength
✌mobility (barrels easily rolled from one place to another)
🤟it became evident that wine benefited in unexpected ways from being stored in this oak wood! This third advantage forms the ENTIRE basis for the modern cooperage industry.
❓What do oak barrels impart to wine that improves and enhances it🍷❓

The chemistry 👩‍🔬 of the oak barrel can impart differing amounts and qualities of flavour and texture depending on the type of oak used. In broad generalities👉
🇫🇷French oak barrels are typically more subtle and spicy, offering textures of satin or silk.
🇺🇸American barrels tend to be stronger in flavour, often described as vanilla, or coconut,🥥 resulting in wines with a more creamy texture🍦
And as all goes in the world of wine 🌐...barrel makers and wine makers all over hold widely differing opinions on the best way to make a barrel 💬

One thing we can all agree on is that barrel making is an extremely complicated craft and there are no amateur barrel makers! 🏅🍷

Want to learn more about the role of barrels in wine-making? 📚 Our Eleanor teachers can’t wait to meet you in September and share their wine knowledge with you! 🤓

⏳Only a few places left for our September courses, register now! Link in bio. 🔗

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