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The selection of the wood

After being felled, according to an ancient tradition, the oak is split into stave boards along the grain.

Our regular visits to the forest areas to be cleared and where the wood will be felled have always confirmed the trustworthiness of the stave-makers we work with. Our suppliers then season the wood in the area, near the forests and far from sources of pollution.

In this way, each product is seasoned naturally in about 18 to 24 month. Thanks to our expertise, the right balance and optimal seasoning is obtained so that the wood is not impoverished and maintains the beneficial substances that are imparted to make great wines.

We select the lots of stave boards at the right moment and according to our clients’ requirements. Particular attention is paid to the grain and obviously the forest of origin is a significant factor for achieving a specific type of Chassin barrel.

Chassin also selects thicker stave boards to produce barriques and tonneaux having 34 and 35 mm thick staves. Our experience in ageing wine in barriques or tonneaux crafted in this thickness, combined with our toasting style, have shown that there is great potential in this area, while also meaning a longer yield in time. Great craftsmanship is required to manufacture barriques and tonneaux using 34 and 35 mm staves.

Experience and expertise are needed to process thicker wood staves. Fire-bending must always be slow and gentle over a long period of time, without using steam or putting the wood into water. It takes much longer to bend a 35 mm thick tonneau than one made with normal thickness staves, however this emphasizes the commitment and passion which Stéphane Chassin puts into his job every day.

The 34 or 35 mm thick barriques and tonneaux have a longer life and allow slower rotations. Being able to use these containers for many years, with consistent wine-ageing quality, is an added value. Moreover, excellent results are guaranteed every time the container is used and a 35 mm barrique or tonneau can easily be used for 8 or 10 vintages.

This means an added benefit for the discerning producer and it also means being more environmentally conscious and protecting our forests.