Many decades ago Robert Mondavi traveled to France to investigate French wine and French wine making. He discovered that unlike the giant redwood containers California wine makers were using to age their wine, the French were using small oak barrels and making vastly superior wine. Robert brought the practice back to California and now almost all California wine makers interested in making premium wine use these barrels to age wine before it's bottled.
In this video I introduce the viewer to our barrel room, and to the purpose of using these barrels. The story of wine making is largely the story of the interaction of the juice and oxygen. Oxygen plays two roles: both making and ultimately destroying the qualities we enjoy in wine. The barrels allow us to control this process, and expose just the right amount of oxygen over the right period of time to produce the wine we want to produce.
Obviously I'm new to speaking in front of a camera, so I hope I expressed myself well enough that you at least get some new bit of knowledge about the use of barrels in wine making, and particularly the use of barrels in a small artisan winery seeking to make the best possible wine.