Vinéa draws on the skills of its partner stave mills to rigorously select the ‘haute futaille’ oaks, which have been gradually thinned over the years and offer a prime guarantee of the quality of the barrels and Aromoak oak alternatives.
These partners purchase the very fine-grained quality wood (Quercus) from the National Forestry Commission (ONF).
Expert stave mills are specifically commissioned to purchase American wood in compliance with the Mendocino quality charter.
Tracking and inspections
The wood is analysed and inspected in an independent laboratory using regular sampling to avoid the various contaminants that could affect the quality of the maturation process.
Each barrel and Aromoak oak alternative is tracked, guaranteeing winegrowers the utmost transparency during the raw material processing phase.
Aromoak French oak alternatives can be used for organic wines and all Vinéa barrels are guaranteed gluten-free.
The maturing phase of the wood is pivotal to revealing the aromatic characters that will lend Vinéa barrels and oak alternatives their quality.
A seasoning yard covering 11,000 m2 located in St Germain de Lusignan is entirely dedicated to seasoning the stave wood that will be used to craft the barrels.
The staves are individually inspected, stacked into piles and stored for at least 24 months in the yard. Here, they remain exposed to the sunshine, wind and rain to ensure the seasoning required for quality maturation.
Oak wood needs to undergo a slow natural seasoning process during which the humidity rate drops from 50% to approximately 12% ultimately.
Only then can the aromatic profile of the oak wood reveal itself and blossom.
Drying is a critical factor for aromatic elegance and the drying time for French oak wood used for the AROMOAK range is at least 36 months.
Vinéa takes particular care to guarantee natural seasoning with no sprinklers.