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Oak wood chips

These are increasingly used as an alternative to barrique ageing (in barrels). Regarding application and wine law issues see under Wood-chips.

In the New World, it has become common since the 1980s to replace the flavour components of oak wood that arise during barrique ageing with a cheaper and less complex method. In this process, oak fragments of various sizes are placed in or added to the steel tanks. These can be boards, staves (inner staves), cubes, chips or shavings that have been subjected to toasting like the barrique barrels. Smaller fragments are packed in perforated bags or wire cages that are hung in the steel tanks for ageing.

In some cases, this is already done during the mash fermentation, which results in a correspondingly higher extraction of the oak substances. In addition, there are also extracts obtained from oak wood in the form of powders, tablets or essences. However, this already reaches the border between flavouring and wine adulteration and is only partially permitted, at least within the EU. However, all these oak fragments can only imitate the quality of real barrique ageing in oak barrels, but by no means replace it, as the...

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