Origin of wood
Our oak trees are stabilized and refined according to a protocol of natural drying of a minimum of 36 months. Then we cut the wood to make square-edged staves that we store for an additional time in our timber yard (we can extend this period of time for specific programs on request).
Most of our proposals and quotes include a 50mm wood thickness (finished product). We buy 54mm or 65mm boules (which is standard thickness) but keep thicker blocks for the production of larger casks (from 60 hectolitres). However conical tanks are 50mm thick (standard finished product) for capacities up to 100 hectolitres.
Please note that we exclusively use French oak, mainly from central France, and that our suppliers all have the PEFC certification (standard SFM)..
Our selection criteria are the following:
Full wood fibre (not cut), no seam, absence of knots (every 2m max) and no critical and visual defects mid-grains only.
Wood for maturation and storage products (round tuns, oval tuns and closed vats):
Square timber (plateaus in the center of the boule, similar to shook quality, horizontal medullary section).
This is a strict selection to respect the integrity of our products.
Wood for vinification products:
Square timber and redosses (first cutting plateaus - top and bottom - vertical medullary section).
This is a more flexible selection since these products are intended to receive solid material.
We receive all the blocks at our suppliers’ and check them one by one before the delivery is made on our production sites.
Moreover, we systematically analyse the wood we use in our workshops to ensure no unwanted molecules like TCA / TCP (which are responsible for tastes of «corked or moldiness»).
These analyses are conducted by an independent laboratory.
Certificates of the TCA / TCP analyses on the lot(s) used for the production of each barrel are available on request.
Preheating and bending are done with steam to avoid the phenomenon of breakage.
The toasting operation lasts 6 to 7 hours (depending on the tank capacity, the product and the customer’s choice). The traditional use of a burning pile of oak cut-offs is the basis of the toasting process.
The goal in toasting large format products is to stop the aggressiveness of the wood and the intense taste of wood, and then to reduce or stop empyreumatic aromas (that we can also find in smaller barrels).
During the manufacturing of large format products, the toasting is a «Medium-long» one; in most cases, it is visually only slightly colored, and favors a deep penetration.
The use of large format products will mainly facilitate work on the texture and length of wines.
Each product is subject to 2 leak controls.
The first one is done after the heads are assembled, and the second one just at the end of the production when the vat or tun is fully filled with water and pressured air for 2 hours. Only paraffin wax which is certified for food contact is authorized to repair a leak.
The vats and tuns are drained and ventilated after the check, and are perfectly dry before they are packed, in order to avoid mold during storage and transport.
Health and Safety guarantee
We guarantee that all necessary means are used to ensure our products are manufactured in the best conditions, by constantly checking the environmental elements (air, water…) of the workshop.
All the products used in the production of vats and tanks that are bound to be in contact with wine are certified for food contact and a certificate can be provided at any time (varnish, paraffin wax, filler).
No chemical substance is allowed during the production of our vats and tuns, even when approved by the wine industry.
Please note that we particularly pay attention to avoid the taste of cork (TCA-TCP certificate available on request).
We work in close partnership with a world-wide famous independent laboratory to control and eradicate any risk of contamination.
Waranty & After Sales Service
Since its creation in 1954, the Tonnellerie Rousseau has trained 10 MOF, including 3 generations in the Rousseau family. This success is based on a constant pursuit of excellence in the skills and craft of cooperage, and the
ambition to offer customers the services of the best coopers in France.
We offer personalized After Sales Service to both domestic and export customers.
Our network of specialists, in 17 different countries, can answer our customers’ problems within 48 hours.
Our tuns and vats have a 2 year guarantee from the delivery date, and in the normal condition of use and maintenance (described in our documents).
Delivery and installation
First, it is necessary to check the dimensions of the product, the dimensions of the access door to the winery, and dimensions of the final location. You can refer to the dimensions shown on the quote to make the necessary checks.
In Europe, we can include transportation and installation in our quotes, we are also to assemble the products on-site. This service is regularly requested by our customers.