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Barrel types

The wooden barrel is one of the oldest wine vessels, along with the amphora made of clay. The Greek historian Herodotus (482-425 B.C.) mentioned those made of palm wood in which wine was transported to Babylon. From around 600 BC onwards, the Celts used wooden barrels to a greater extent for transporting wine. With the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar around 50 BC, the skill of making wine was taken over by the Romans. They mainly used fir wood. Remains of wooden barrels (cupas) were found in Pompeii, for example. For the production of wine barrels today mainly oak wood from French or Amrican oak is used, but also acacia and chestnut are very popular. According to the shape, a distinction is made between round barrels (most common shape), drum barrels (shorter than the diameter of the belly) and oval barrels (higher than wide). Wooden barrels are mainly used for storing and transporting wine, but are also used for barrel fermentation. They are also an ideal ageing container for high-quality wines, which need a slow supply of oxygen from the breathing wood during barrique ageing or barrel ageing for their maturation.

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