In Northeast Georgia wine country, we are serious about high quality wine. At Wood Art Worlds, our passion is turning wine barrels into beautiful furniture. Yet, before becoming a coffee table or planter, wine barrels are used to age wine, infusing it with the delicious taste we all know so well. That’s because oak wood barrels help the maturation process while adding unique flavors to both white and red wine, as well as whiskey.
How Long Does Wine Stay in Barrels?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, a variety of factors come into play, such as: where is the wine being made and from what type of grape? How big is the wine barrel? Are we talking about red or white wine?
Wine is aged at minimum between 6 and 9 months so that it has enough time to be in contact with the wood and pick up new flavors.
Generally speaking, red wines are aged for 1 to 2 years before they are bottled, while white wines tend to be aged for less time.
Some wines are kept in barrels for 3-4 years. For instance, full and medium bodied wines.
The time it takes to properly mature wine in a barrel is influenced by the size of the barrel. A smaller barrel is going to infuse wine with flavor faster than a large barrel. That’s why wine (and whiskey) made in small batches tends to have a stronger taste profile and is often more expensive.
It’s All About the Flavor
New wine barrels add more flavoring thanks to the polymerization of tannin molecules, a process that goes on until the wine is removed from the barrel.
The average wine barrel is only used one time to age wine before it is discarded or turned into something else – such as furniture. This is simply because after one use, the wine barrel may start to change the way the wine is meant to taste. There are ways to reuse wine barrels, such as re-toasting the insides. Although, this doesn’t always produce the same quality wine.
Wine can stay in older barrels for longer without taking on too rich of a taste from the wood. In addition, American oak barrels tend to release flavors quicker than European oak varieties.
New oak barrels infuse wines with rich flavors that an older barrel can no longer offer. Used barrels can be used to age wine as they still help the wine obtain a concentrated flavor via evaporation. Although, an older barrel will not add the same unique flavor qualities as a newer barrel.
The younger a barrel is, the more flavoring it has to give off. Therefore, wine doesn’t have to remain in the barrel for as long before it takes on a stunning flavor profile.
When it comes to white wines, the need for newer barrels is especially important. This is why white wine is almost always fermented in a new barrel. White wine doesn’t take as long to ferment and therefore needs to take on a dynamic flavor profile faster. In general, white wines naturally tend to take on less oak flavoring than red wines.
The Art of Wine Barrels
There’s an art to ageing wine, and there’s also an art to turning wine barrels into beautiful and long-lasting furniture. That’s where we come in! We feel blessed to create unique handcrafted furniture from genuine French wine barrels right here in Northeast Georgia wine country.
Wine lovers can’t get enough of our pieces – from vanities to coffee tables, and even chandeliers made from wine barrels. Shop our collection online