Designation for a cylindrical (cylindrical) mostly bulbous container made of various materials such as wood, metal, plastic or ceramics for storing liquids. In viticulture, barrels are mostly made of wood because this material is breathable and allows a metered access of oxygen, which is usually desired during wine aging. For filling and emptying it has a small opening called a bung (bung hole). It can also be open on one side and is then fitted with a lid. In the case of large barrels, an access possibility in the bottom(barrel latch) allows one person to clean the barrel. The drum shape allows easy handling, movement and space-saving stacking. Barrels of different types and volumes play an important role with regard to the extension. In the past, the production was carried out by the handicraft profession of the cooper. Today, however, the wooden barrels are mostly industrially produced in companies known as Tonnellerie. The historical development is described in detail under wine barrels.
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The picture below shows a barrel cellar of the Bassermann-Jordan winery in the Palatinate (Germany). In the foreground barrique barrels, on the left are two egg-shaped containers and on the right eight traditional, large wooden barrels.
See also English terms for barrel fermentation and barrel ageing under barrel as well as a complete list of all barrels under barrel types. All aids, work and measures in the vineyard during the vegetation cycle can be found under vineyard care. A complete list of the numerous vinification measures and cellar techniques, as well as a list of the types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate regulated by wine law can be found under vinification. Comprehensive information on wine law can be found under the keyword wine law.