Astra - Barrel workshop, barrels, kegs

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Material

In "ASTRA" cooperage we use oak material with excellent quality from ecologically clean regions in Bulgaria. The cooper makes a selection of the oak because there are differences in the nature of the oak from different forests and different regions. For example slow-growing forests are source of oak with fine structure that affects the content of tannins and vanilla and their letting to the wine during the maturation process in the barrels. Tree age and height are also important.



Material drying

One basic moment is drying of oak staves. They are arranged into etc. figures with height 6-7meters. The material dries as staves at least 24 months under nature conditions. In this way the exposition on fresh air, sun and wind promotes the process of oak maturation. In the first hacking more than half from oak is dampness that decreases to 20% after 3 months. In nature conditions oak usually dries at 14%-16% dampness. Oak staves are hygroscopic- humidity increases in winter and it decreases in summer.


Baking


The most important factor in barrel producing is the staves baking .During the baking when barrels is heated to a certain temperature different flavors are formed. The warm penetrates into the staves and  components which are located at different depths in the wood are released. Different burning determines the taste and flavor of the product which will mature in barrels. In ASTRA cooperage baking is performed in traditional way- open fire with oak blocks. The coopers monitor the process, control the temperature, time and smell which is released from the barrel and determine the desired degree of burning. Depending on baking degree barrels are light, medium, medium plus and high baked. Latin signs are L, M, M+  and H.

LIGHT baking (L)

  • Fruit flavors

  • This type of baking is suitable for white wines.


MEDIUM baking (M)

  • Flavor of spices, caramel and vanilla

  • Suitable for red wines


MEDIUM + baking (M+)

  • Aroma of spices, coffee and chocolate

  • Suitable for thick and  high flavored wines.


HEAVY baking (H)

  • Aroma of coffee, almond , chocolate and smoke.

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