The toasting is a crucial stage in the barrel making process. A successful toast is a deep, homogeneous and controlled heating, giving the barrel the desired aromatic and organoleptic properties for a defined maturation period.
The majority of odorant and aromatic oak compounds develop during this stage. Vicard, since 2005, has developed and improved a computerized technology which controls:
- The time spent on the fire
- The temperature
- The different toasting profiles
This unique technology guarantees a homogeneous, regular and replicable toasting
The time spent on the fire
This parameter, essential to arrive at the desired toasting profile, is controlled by a timer. Light signals, indicate the right moment to turn the barrel and to end the toasting process.
An infrared probe reads the temperature within the barrel. When the required degree has been reached, it is maintained and regulated by a combination of controlling the supply of oak pellets to the fire by means of a worm screw, and the amount ventilation supplied to the fire. Each barrel is encased to maintain the desired level of heat and avoid external disturbances. In this way the temperature is stable throughout the toasting cycle.
Toasting by radiation (2009 Innovation)
The Toasting by Radiation allows the diffusion of a regular and homogeneous temperature.
The double cone brazier transforms the heterogeneous calorific power of the flame into a uniform heat. The temperature is spread homogeneously throughout the inner surface of the barrel. The «double cone» form matches the shape of the barrel and toasts the internal surface at regular distance.
The advantages :
- Homogeneity, regularity and replication of the toasting
- Increase in the temperature penetration in the wood
- Development of an aromatic complexity (control of the temperature stages allows creation, development and degradation of the different aromatic compounds)
- Elimination of smoky tones (no cinder on the inner surface and the flame doesn’t touch the wood)
- Elimination of bitter, strong and astringent tannins (deeper toasting)
To optimize the toasting homogeneity, the barrel is rotated around the fire. Today, Vicard operates 60 completely computerized fire braziers.
This innovative and unique technology allows Vicard Cooperage to propose barrels respecting the balance between wine and wood tannins, thereby accurately matching the specific needs of each wine maker.
« ScarStave™ » : The blister-free VICARD process (2009 Innovation)
A deeper toasting without blister thanks to the « scarified » staves [Vicard patent]
Staves contain micro-slits allowing the water locked in the wood to escape naturally during the toasting, avoiding the creation of blisters. This process ensures an optimal penetration of the temperature, without problems of blistering.