Everything, also wine barrels, that is made by hand by different types of artisans, such as coopers, can offer slight variations in their manufacture, their capacity and their characteristics. For example, even today, château barrels designed for ship transport may be slightly different from one another, and not only in their size.
On a visit to a large winery you can see long and orderly rows of wooden wine barrels, but if the wine they contain has to be transported, it is likely to be transferred to less picturesque deposits, such as inox tanks. There is nothing wrong in it. Only a few high quality spanish wines are capable of improving their maturation in oak barrels are preserved until transport and consumption. In its origins the wine barrels were used to transport the wine but, with time, the glass bottle became the star container and the barrels took another role.
How wine barrels are made?
When choosing a wine barrel, the first step is to decide the size. There are many sizes, the best known are the Bordelesa (from Bordeaux) with 225 liters capacity, and the Burgundy (300 liters capacity). The most commonly used woods are French Oak and American Oak, although there are also other wood barrels. The last important aspect to consider is the level of barrel toasting (light, medium or high).
It should not be forgotten, however, that aging in wood is not always advisable for certain wines, since they can deprive them of certain nuances of freshness, aroma and taste that are very appreciated by many consumers, as is the case with a large number of young wines made for be consumed in a short period of time.