Huell Howser had a very interesting program on the local PBS station
about company in Northern California that recyces old white oak wine
barrels into other products.
Some might find it interesting.
Very clever! One problem is that federal law prescribes that whiskey (not
sure about wine) be aged in NEW oaken barrels. In France (for example), they
can reuse the barrels.
I've had some French wine that was evidently aged in barrels that formerly
contained olives. Or squash.
Being from near wine country and having a bit of an affinity for such
(ie Sonoma Products Company);I have looked at using barrel wood and
have seen lots of stuff done with it. It is just too inconsistent for
me so far but I'll probably do something with it eventually.
Most wine makers use new French White Oak barrels but this is by no
means an absolute. American Oak and used barrels are also employed.
They are quite particular about how much toast (the buring of the
barrel to carmalize it) and excatly which barrel, how many reuses, how
long in each type, etc. Regardless, they all eventually wear out so
there is lots of used barrels available.
A store that has inquired about reselling some of my (non-barrel)
stuff has a big inventory of barrel made stuff. www.napageneralstore.com.
I haven't placed anything there yet but I have a product line coming
up that I might pitch to them.
Used american bourbon casks also find their way across to Scotland, in
flat-pack form, where they are reassembled and used for scotch.
However, Glen Moray whiskey is aged in white wine barrels, which, the
distillers claim, gives it a flavour* more suited to non whiskey lovers.
*Yeh, I know, the "experts" like to use more exotic terminology
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