Does size really matter? When it comes to choosing the barrels for our wines, it certainly does!
Here at Waterkloof, our “hands off” approach to winemaking extends deep into our cellar, right into the very barrels that we use for ageing our wines. We use only the finest French oak barrels, but our commitment to quality doesn’t stop there. We also use different sized barrels to age our different red wines, depending on the varieties.
All Rhone varieties are aged in large, 600l barrels – this is because these varieties have big berries and thinner skins, meaning that the juice has less tannins and is more sensitive to oxygen. The Bordeaux varieties, which have smaller berries and thicker skins, are more prone to having harsher tannins and are thus aged in smaller barrels, where oxygen is needed to soften and stabilize the wine.
This “hands-off”, older winemaking style results in wines with characters unique to their origin and, as an added benefit, they enjoy a far greater ageing potential.