Video: How Wine Barrels Are Made

A look at the old-world craft of hand-making oak barrels for wine

Every winter, new French and American oak barrels are crafted and delivered to wineries across Napa and Sonoma for aging their newborn vintages. On a few occasions, I’ve traveled over the mountains to Nadalié cooperage in Calistoga, one of Jordan Winery’s barrel makers, to watch how wine barrels are made. This video shows the making of American oak barrels in action, as explained by former cellarmaster Pat Fallon. (Nadalié is a French company that specializes in French oak barrels, but also makes them from American oak in a small factory in Napa Valley.) Nadalié preserves many hands-on, old-world techniques when making oak barrels. Jordan no longer uses American oak barrels for aging its cabernet sauvignon, so hopefully I’ll be able to travel to the Nadalié cooperage near Bordeaux to capture video of how oak wine barrels are made in France.

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Born and raised in rural Kansas, Lisa Mattson fell in love with wine during college in South Florida and worked for a wine magazine before moving to Northern California. Her days are spent being a writer, photographer and videographer for Jordan Winery and nights cooking Thai food or microgreen salads. When she’s not eating and sipping her way through Sonoma County, she travels the world with her husband in search of the best restaurants, snorkeling spots and tiki bars.

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