Earlier this year winemaker Matt Smith took a trip to Missouri to visit one of our cooperage partners. While he was there the barrel makers let him do something that he can never do around the winery: play with fire.
What he’s actually doing is toasting a barrel in order to enhance the wine that’ll one day rest there. Toasting a barrel is part art and part science; a nuanced approach is required, involving sensory and chemical analysis to produce the proper balance of intensity and duration. Our winemakers have been working for several years to identify the different ways to toast a barrel in order to produce the right balance of flavor and mouthfeel. It truly is an impressive process.