Wine Tour - Ageing

The original winery, built in 1934, now serves for barrel ageing and as the Winemaker's office. Part of the rustic interior has been left untouched as a link to the historic past of Bouchon.

In the past, large upright tanks, made from redwood or oak, were widely used in Sonoma County for ageing red wine. A few oak uprights have been retained at Bouchon for the slow, gentle ageing which they offer.

The Winemaker selects 60-gallon barrels from oak made in the United States or France, choosing from various forest regions within each country. Each type of oak imparts its own delicate, distinctive flavor to the wine. The barrels are made by hand to the winery's specifications, including the extent to which the barrel staves are "toasted" over an open flame before the final assembly.

The Winemaker tastes wine from barrels at regular intervals. The frequency depends on whether the wine is young or old, whether the barrel is new or has been used for a year or two, and what style is intended for the wine.