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Tasting Tip: Getting to the bottom of the wine barrel

See our series of Tasting Tips to help you make the most of you Gibbston Valley Wine experience.

Did you know that wine barrels are an integral part of the winemaking process?

Most people know that they are used to store and age wine, but wine barrels also impart a vast array of scents and flavours to the finished product.

These characteristics are dependent on a multitude of factors, including the type of oak, the way the barrels were made, the age of the barrels, the level of char and the way the winemaker has mixed and matched them.


In many ways, barrels are a winemaker’s colour palette, to be used the way a painter uses tubes of paint. For the consumer, being able to detect certain aromas and attribute them to specific types of wine barrels, can help enhance your experience when tasting wine. 

If you smell toast, smoke, vanilla, chocolate, espresso, roasted nuts, or even caramel in a wine, you are most likely picking up scents from aging in new oak barrels. Remember this the next time you want to impress some friends with your "vast" wine knowledge. Cheers! 

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