How many bottles of wine do you get out of each barrel? What does “MT” stand for? Where does the oak come from to make the barrels? I’ll answer them in order and I will include some other aspects of the Barrel Room and barrels in general. We get about 300 bottles of wine (25 cases) from each barrel. We store 2000 of them which equals 600,000 bottles total. To take it a step further we make 70,000 cases of wine with a total of 840,000 bottles. And we are still considered at the larger end of ‘small’ production. The initials ‘MT’ stand for medium toast, which is the overwhelming choice when it comes to the level of toast in a barrel for us. The toasting of the staves and heads (barrel ends) brings more flavor to the gradually aging wine. By toasting the oak you get aromas and flavors like vanillin and spice. They aren’t in the forefront but they do add complexity. Oak or Quercus Alba, American oak in this instance, is grown in and around Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We think this type of oak suits our wines and is used almost exclusively (we do incorporate French oak for a couple of our wines). The life of a barrel typically sees about 8-10 vintages here because we use 25% new oak combined with seasoned barrels. This also gives us wine that is mellow rather than overly oaky-my dad always says he’d rather taste the grape than wood. Stop by this weekend-I’ll be thieving our 2013 Merlot. I will be happy to answer your questions! Click here for ticket information.
A peek at a few of our barrels--did you know our Barrel Room is naturally air conditioned?
Vents open to the night air and close during the day keeping it a cool 48-55 degrees.