Oak Chips and oak flavours20 products
It is well documented that the chemical properties of oak can have a profound effect on the maturing of wine, fortified wines, port and spirits. The degree of 'toast' on the barrel can also impart different properties affecting the flavour.
The length of time that the wine or spirit spends in the barrel is dictated by the varietal style and also the size of the barrel.
In the case of small barrels, where there is a greater surface area of oak in comparison to the volume of liquid, it is important to monitor the amount of oaking that is taking place so as not to over oak. Once the desired level of oaking has taken place it is advisable to remove the wine, port or spirit and bottle it. You can remove all or part of the total volume of the barrel but you must always top up with more beverage so as to remove excess air space. If a barrel is allowed to dry out this can have the effect of causing the staves to shrink.