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Barrel-Art® European Wine Barrel Creations

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Unique Ways to Use Re-purposed Wine Barrels

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Here at Barrel-Art, we're giving new life to old wine barrels. A combination of warm woods and weathered metal strapping have transformed these repurposed items into eye-catching elements of design. With their Old World look and feel, wine barrels can take any living space from bland and ordinary to uniquely stylish and extraordinary. 

We're constantly coming up with new ways to transform wine barrels into works of art. Here are just a few of the decorative products and artful accessories we're currently offering. 

Our Barrel Tall Side Table is handcrafted from a French Bordeaux wine barrel. During the sanding process, we even try to preserve the cooperate or winery label to ensure a smooth and sleek finish. This side table would make a fabulous focal point in a living room, study, or library. Plus, we can also treat the wood for outdoor use!

This fashionable carrier is perfect for staying organized in style. Creatively handcrafted from the staves and metal band of a barrel, the Decorative Stave Carrier can be used to store magazines, newspapers or other miscellaneous items in a living room, home office or kitchen area. 

The Barrel Coffee Table is a true statement piece. This gorgeous table was handcrafted from half a wine barrel and additional staves, which were used to fashion the legs of the base. The top is solid white oak, and an inlaid hinge allows the lid to open and reveal a hidden storage space inside the barrel. 

Here's something you've never seen before, but if you're a pet owner, you might not be able to live without it. You and your pet will love this unique pet bed handcrafted from a wine barrel. Durable and stylish, the barrel frame features rich hues that were naturally stained from the Bordeaux or Tempranillo wines once stored inside. 

Whether you're a wine lover or simply have an eye for chic design, wine barrel art can be just the piece you need to jazz up a living space. Browse our products online to see more of our barrel art.  

Image Sources: Barrel-Art 

Winemaking 101: Why is wine aged in Oak Barrels?

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The oak barrel has long been associated with fine wine. It evokes images of strength and sturdiness while emitting rich and complex aromas. Oak barrels can be easily romanticized for their beauty and ability to deliver fine wines with a distinct signature taste.

These barrels are so revered by wine aficionados that you can often find them occupying valuable spaces in homes, cabins and offices of those who consider themselves oenophiles.

But why are oak barrels used to create the drink that’s been enjoyed by everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Ernest Hemingway to William Shakespeare? What is it about impressive hunks of wood that make them so important to wine development after the fermentation process?

The answer might surprise you.

Wine makers have been using wine barrels to perfect their craft for centuries. Wine that’s been fermented and racked, even several times, is still raw and has a bitter, un-refined flavor.

Storing wine in barrels promotes the aging process. As the wine rests, it ages and undergoes chemical changes that soften the bitter-edge of the original mixture. The aging process allows subtle flavors to emerge from the depths of the grape essence, which naturally dominates the concoction.

Using oak barrels has been found to facilitate just the right oxidation process, introducing just enough of the life-inducing chemical into the wine to allow for other flavors to emerge — a touch of apple or a hint of honey or butter. 

Of course, every glass of wine that's been aged in an oak wine barrel has, somewhere deep inside, the slightest reminder of its origins. A tinge of oak flavor is never a bad thing. In fact, it’s the distinguishing characteristic of fine wines.

The good news for wine lovers is that the lifespan and usefulness of oak wine barrels is relatively short. After a few uses, barrels must be repurposed, while many wind up serving as furniture and art pieces. This is a great testament to the appreciation of fine wine!

Image Source: Instagram, Wikimedia Commons 

Michael Prieto details the "Aha Moment" in July's Pilot Edition

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Ingenious solutions are often born out of difficult situations, and Michael Prieto, owner of Barrel-Art LLC in Norfolk, Va., has honed ingenuity into a fine art. Creativity and a love of woodworking literally grew from the ashes of a warehouse fire that destroyed nearly everything Michael and his wife, Kambra, had taken to Europe.

Creative Lighting: Turn Heads with a Barrel Hoop Light

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A stylish light fixture does much more than simply illuminating a living space. It ties the room together, makes a statement and expresses your personality all while creating an eye-catching focal point. In other words, with the right lighting, you can take a kitchen, dining room, bedroom or living room to the next level of design.