A fire in my belly

>> Thursday, 7 January 2010

Burning, toasting the barrel with fire. Cooperage, barrel manufacturing, Cadus, Louis Jadot, Ladoix-Serrigny, Beaune, Burgundy, France


Cadus cooperage, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Tonnellerie Cadus is a cooperage (barrel maker) in the heart of Bourgogne in Ladoix-Serrigny just north of Beaune. It belongs to the Louis Jadot négociant (wine merchant and wine producer) but also sells its barrels to other wineries.

They make barrels of all sizes, including the Burgundian pièce of 228 litres and the Bordelais barrique of 225 litres. Making a barrel is still very much a hand craft. It starts with selecting the wood from oak grown in France or, increasingly, other countries. The wood is cut in rough planks that are let to dry in the wood yard for several years. The planks are then cut into precision shaped staves and then the assembly starts: The staves are put together in a cylinder held tight with the iron hoops.

The cooper then heats the barrel over open fire, both to make it easier to bend the staves to the rounded shape and also to give the barrel it's toasting. The firing, or toasting ("chauffe"), can be soft, medium or strong and is one of the key parameters in the characteristics of a barrel. Other key elements are the provenance of the wood, albeit many argue that the tannin contents is more important than what forest the trees come from, the grain of the wood, and the craftsman's skills of the cooper.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

Bourgogne barrel making Cadus stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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