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World’s biggest cooper: Seguin Moreau (part 2 of 3): technology and quality

>> Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seguin Moreau considers itself to be a pioneer in terms of technical innovation and quality control for barrel making. they were one of the first to stop specifying the origin of the oak of the barrels. Traditionally it is often specified from which forest the oak comes in a barrel. For example: the Vosges, the Alliers, or Limousin. Seguin Moreau says that what’s important is not the origin but the quality of the oak (mainly the porosity, or the ‘grain’). And the quality varies very much for the same forest. Therefore they have stopped naming the origin and instead they give a quality indication of the wood.

This is, by the way, also something that Radoux started doing some time back.

Around 550,000 barrels – normally measuring 225 or 228 litres – are made each year in France, out of 800,000 in the world (wine barrels). Seguin Moreau makes around 75,000 barrels (barriques, pièces) per year.

A barrel costs around 600 euro. In other words, if a winemaker uses 100% new barrels every year it represents a cost of around 2 euro per bottle. The cost of the wood for one barrel is around 300 euro. Only one quarter of the wood from a trunk of an oak tree, cut down and cleaned, can be used to make a barrel.

More info: and and on their blog ”Winemakers for Good Wood”!

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