The process now used worldwide for the production of barrique barrels was allegedly "invented" by chance in France. Wine producers near the sea used (also) herring barrels made by fishermen and tried to eliminate the unwanted fish smell in the wood by brushing or planing it out. When this did not lead to a satisfactory result, the barrels were burnt out inside. Today, this is understood to mean the roasting or cask-burning of the inner wall of barrique barrels. As a rule, the two barrel bottoms are usually not toasted, as this is very time-consuming. However, this is also dependent on the barrique manufacturer or the wishes of the customer (winemaker).
Roasting is done, for example, over an open oak fire, with a gas burner or, more recently, with infrared heat. A heat of 200 to 250 °Celsius is achieved. The duration and intensity of the fire determine the degree of toasting: 10 to 15 minutes for wines, 15 to 20 minutes for spirits(cognac, rum, whisky etc.). A very strong toasting causes charring and is therefore called Charring. The wood is modified to a depth of two millimetres (slightly) to four millimetres (strongly). After toasting, the barrique barrel is brought into its final shape. To soften the smoky taste, it is filled with water. The water, which is emptied after some time, is completely yellow.
For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien