Barrels, Cement & PE Tanks

Dargaud & Jaegle cooperage

The Dargaud & Jaeglé Cooperage is located in Romanèche-Thorins, in Saone et Loire, at the crossroads of two major wine regions, Beaujolais and Maconnais. Since its creation in 1921, D & J has always defended the idea that oak aging must be done with the greatest respect for the fruit, the terroir, and winemaking artistry. D&J’s original technique, relentlessly enhanced, reinforces this ideal. Barrel crafting traditionally implies heating staves over a small fire of oak chips which softens the wood and allows the staves to be bent into the shape. The D & J alternative of “softening” staves for bending by immersion in boiling water offers an additional benefit (moderating the impact of new oak which allows for more elegance in the wines). For more information:

D & J is certified FTF Fût de Tradition Française by the CTBA which, among other things, guarantees the following;

  • The oak used is of French origin
  • All wood lots are traceable
  • The staves are traditionally split
  • The staves are naturally air-dried
  • All our coopers are highly qualified craftsmen
  • Barrel volume and dimension standards are respected
  • The internal and external surfaces meet quality standards
  • Production procedures are put into place to guarantee the barrels’ overall quality and coopering tradition
  • Wood suppliers are certified PEFC, which guarantees sourcing from sustainable forests and oak traceability

Vallaurine cooperage

Today Tonnellerie Vallaurine is the only cooperage in the Rhone Valley. Founded in 1885 by Moise Desrieux, it has developed over four generations of coopers. The traditional art of barrel-making has been passed from father to son, enhancing and combining barrel construction techniques and modern manufacturing methods over the years. The methods have progressed and diversified, whereas the craftsmanship and the precision of the barrel-making process have remained unchanged. Vallaurine is a respected Rhône varietal specialist, whilst also crafting barrels suitable for non-Rhone varietals and areas. Barrels are fire bent & traditionally toasted over oak fuelled fires. In South Africa these barrels have gained an outstanding reputation for Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvédre, but more recently also for Cinsault, Pinotage & Merlot. The cooperage uniquely differentiates between barrels based on the stylistic differences between Left Bank vs Right Bank Rhône Valley wines. For more information:

Concrete wine tanks (NOMBLOT)

World leader and original manufacturer of egg-shaped concrete wine tanks, Nomblot manufactures many other shapes and sizes with different finishes. Concrete is a material known for its strength and porosity and offer very good thermal inertia for wine fermentation. Whether they are square, egg-shaped tanks or amphora-shaped, the vinification vats promise quality wines. The Vertical Ovoid tank offers the benefits of the inherent micro-oxidation present in the porous natural cement comprised of calcium and clay. The large egg shape promotes suspension of the wine lees, due to the disparity of volume and temperature between the top and bottom of the tank. The vortex created has an effect similar to battonage, or lees-stirring, and helps build body and structure in the wines. The large thermal mass of the concrete combined with the vortex movement of the wine, creates a container suited for consistent ferments as well as a porous aging vessel.

For more information on egg shaped concrete tanks:

For more information:

Egg shaped Polyethylene tanks by SPEIDEL

In 1912 Georg Speidel founded a business for the production of barrels. In the 1980’s stainless steel became increasingly important and Speidel invested successfully in the new technology. By 1996 they started producing Polyethylene (PE) containers for beer and wine making, including the classic egg-shaped FERMENTEGG, the first of its kind. Manufactured to allow for micro-oxidation (similar to 2nd fill oak barrels) and with a ratio between wine volume and surface area similar to a 600l oak barrel, the 600 l FERMENTEGG is most often used for natural fermenting of white wines. Should budget or space be a constraint, the FERMENTEGG offers a good compromise (vs concrete egg-shaped tanks), by offering similar benefits at a fraction of the cost. The shape allows for vortex formation during fermentation and it keeps the lees in suspension with all the associated benefits. The tanks might not have the same thermal qualities as concrete, but they are easy to move, the smooth internal surfaces can be sanitized easily, there are no evaporation, no off-flavour compounds and no interference with the acidity or pH of the wine. It typically adds structure and complexity and assists to maintain minerality.

For more information: