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Barrel-Art® European Wine Barrel Creations

Latest Barrel-Art News

Sparkling Wine Production Leads to Eye-Catching Furniture

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An old wine-making technique that most sparkling wine and champagne masters are privy to involves the use of a champagne riddling rack to remove sediments from the wine. These unique, distinctive racks are not only useful but provide an endless amount of decorating possibilities. Many people use them for both!

These racks have been used since the early 1800's to help remove sediments that can cause wine to have a cloudy appearance or a bitter taste. Prior to the invention of the riddling racks we see today, the first champagne riddling rack was made by cutting holes into a kitchen table and allowing gravity to work the sediments to the necks of the bottles as the bottles remained upside down.

Looking at the champagne riddling racks we see today, you will see some shaped like an A-frame and others shaped like a board. Here are more details about the riddling process:

  • The rack must be able to hold the bottles at an angle of about 45 degrees, neck down.
  • Pick the bottle up by the bottom and shake it slightly while twisting it sharply to the right and left.
  • Place it back into the rack and move on to the next bottle.
  • Repeat this every other day for 14 days.

This shaking and disturbing of the liquid breaks the adhesion that sediment has formed to the sides of the bottle, allowing it to float free. As it settles during rest times, gravity will help the sediment move to the neck of the bottle.

'Freezing' the neck of the bottle, with glycol, brine or calcium chloride at approximately -20°C for 8 - 10 minutes will help solidify this material for easy removal. This process is called disgorging and takes place just before the corking, caging, labeling, and shipping of most wines.

We have an expansive selection of champagne riddling racks available at Barrel-Art. We offer a line of decorative racks, from 10 bottle units to a massive 120 bottle system. The decorating possibilities are unique and endless.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, Barrel-Art

Why We Use European Wine Barrels for our Barrel-Art Creations

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The Barrel Art creations we produce are made from the barrels of some of the best wine in the world. The vast majority of wine makers use European oak because of its unique nature and the flavor it imparts to the wine. This is so vitally important to wine connoisseurs around the world, as well as people interested in wine barrel furniture who want the look and feel of old world craftsmanship in their homes.

Because of the way wine is made, aged, and stored, the barrels have a fragrance that is almost as good as the taste would be. We found out that the wood selected for these barrels came only from trees that were at least 100 years old. This fine grained wood -- called Quercus robor from Vosges, Alliers, and Troncais -- is some of the most expensive wood because of its high demand.

This is exactly what we wanted due to its popularity fabricating for wine barrels. A very small amount of this wood is used from each tree for the barrels, as the rest is used on projects like flooring.  Because only six to seven seasons of wine making are done with each barrel, it's possible for our barrel furniture to have an almost unlimited source of quality reclaimed material with more available each season. This is something that continues to benefit both the client and us.

Why do we use European wine barrels for our Barrel-Art creations? We firmly believe they are the best, with the quality our clients are looking for in barrel furniture for the home. If you're ready to place a new, distinct focal point in the home, please contact us at Barrel-Art to view our selection of handmade furniture. 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

The Barrel Bar that Started it All

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"Who would have thought you could do that with a wine barrel..." is a comment we hear quite often at Barrel-Art, and it's sparked several interesting conversations with our customers, leading many to ask how Barrel-Art came to be. It all began a few years ago in Europe with our owner, Mike Prieto, and a piece we call the Classic Style Wine Bar. 

Unique Wine Barrel Wedding Gifts

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Serving Trays
The versatile serving tray can be used as a decorative accent and is food-safe for presenting hors d’oeuvres, fruits, or other treats. A touch of rustic decor adds an air of old world romance. A beautiful serving tray will remind the couple of you whenever they entertain or enjoy a special occasion.