Monday, March 1, 2010

When will American wineries import Chinese oak barrels?

Fact: American wineries use more new oak barrels than any other wine-producing country in the world.
The cost of new French oak barrels hovers at about $1200 each. American oak barrels at least $500.

China makes oak barrels.
Bodega Langes winery, a couple of hours out of Beijing in Changli, Hebei Province, claims they are the first in all of Asia to possesses their own oak barrel plant with advanced production equipment. They get oak from Changbai Mt. in North China. The foreman at the cooperage told me that they currently produce 3500 oak barrels per year. That's far more than their winery needs.
An Australian also has a cooperage in Penglai, Shandong Province.

A worker at Bodega Langes winery's cooperage heats the wood to bend it into shape.

So when will we see "Made in China" on oak barrels in the United States?

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