The Terroir of Wine Barrels
July 31, 2009
he evolution to 60-gallon oak barrels for red wine ageing in the U.S. has accelerated in the past 30 years. Following Repeal of Prohibition in 1933, winemakers in California resumed the traditional practice of ageing their wines in redwood tanks. A few invested in large oak casks or ovals for their best wines. Ageing wines in small oak barrels, already an established practice for decades in Europe, was a revolutionary concept in California during the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s that only a few top producers at that time embraced.