From forest to product
From forest to product

The cooperage’s story is rooted in the forest. Discover the various meticulous steps in the process of making our exceptional products.

Bois Seguin Moreau

IT ALL BEGINS IN THE FOREST

SEGUIN MOREAU’s expertise begins in the forest with the meticulous selection of its noble raw material of oak.

Composant 18 – 1
Composant 17 – 1
  • IMG_7659-1
    THE FOREST BEHIND IT ALL
  • Merranderie
    AT THE STAVE MILL
  • Analyse
    WOOD ANALYSES
  • Pro active
    PROACTIVE OAK MATURATION
  • Potentiel
    WOOD’S OENOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
  • Merrain-Douelle
    FROM ROUGH STAVE TO STAVE
  • Seguin Moreau (190)
    ROSING
  • Feu
    THE MAGIC OF FIRE
  • 4I5A6335 copie
    APPEARANCE AND DECORATION
  • Rayonnement
    GLOBAL REACH
  • THE FOREST BEHIND IT ALL
    IMG_7659-1

    Whether French, American or European oak, we select centuries-old trees. Our French oak is bought by auction from ONF. Only a limited amount of high-quality oak is kept by the cooperage for making its rough staves. Once cut by the forestry company, the timber is transported to one of our stave mills. Working in conjunction with forestry companies, the only such companies permitted to conduct felling and logging, our purchasers travel across forests seeking the best quality oak, with the greatest respect for the forest land.

  • AT THE STAVE MILL
    Merranderie

    At our stave mills, the SEGUIN MOREAU WORKSHOPS, the timber is turned into rough staves. French oak needs to be split to ensure that fibre direction is followed and that the future barrels are watertight. Samples are taken at our stave mills by coring each piece of timber. They are sent to our in-house laboratory in Merpins for analysis (oenological profile). This means that as soon as the wood enters our rough stave maturation area, the wood is identified and classified to determine its future use.

  • WOOD ANALYSES
    Analyse

    At our stave mills, all the timber is cored to take wood chip samples that are then sent to our in-house laboratory in Merpins for analysis (oenological profile). This means that as soon as the wood enters our rough stave maturation area, the wood is identified and classified to determine its future use.

  • PROACTIVE OAK MATURATION
    Pro active

    At our maturation yard in Cognac, rough staves undergo a process of proactive maturation. The rough staves are stacked outside to dry slowly and gradually. Proactive sprinkling of rough staves helps to offset any lack of rain. Water runoff thus allows the oak to evolve on a chemical and organoleptic level. The rough staves are checked regularly to ensure that they reach ideal maturity in terms of both aromatic and phenolic potential.

  • WOOD’S OENOLOGICAL POTENTIAL
    Potentiel

    Building on twenty years of research, our understanding of wine-wood interactions – paired with an improved knowledge of oak’s chemical structure – helped us perfect the ICÔNE process. This helps determine the ‘oenological potential’ of oak, in other words, its ability to produce a specific oaked profile for a particular wine category.

  • FROM ROUGH STAVE TO STAVE
    Merrain-Douelle

    Trimming, planing, scraping and jointing are the tasks performed by coopers to make staves. Aided by machinery, the cooper identifies the perfect size and shape to ensure that each stave will round over the fire to fit its compatriots’ contours perfectly.

  • ROSING
    Seguin Moreau (190)

    The master cooper uses traditional tools to prepare the barrel shape. Each stave is fitted in place around a temporary iron hoop by the artisan’s expert hand. A hoop driver and hammer are used to position to barrels to complete the barrel rosing process. For each order, the cooper creates the shape that will produce the corresponding barrel and rolls it to the toasting workshop.

  • THE MAGIC OF FIRE
    Feu

    Now comes the magic of fire, a song in three parts:

    • preheating’ increases the temperature of the wood fibres ready for the second stage;
    • tightening heating’ bends the staves and gives the barrel its characteristic shape.

    The combined action of the fire, water and capstan help to gradually curve the staves to create the barrel shell. ‘Bousinage’, or ‘oenological toasting’, lies at the heart of our expertise: the cooper is able to adapt the toasting intensity and time to each client’s needs, in order to reveal the desired aromas.

  • APPEARANCE AND DECORATION
    4I5A6335 copie

    Once the body and heads have been assembled, the finishing touches are added. The addition of chestnut hoops connected by reeds originally kept pests away from the high-quality wood and prevented the barrel bevel from being damaged when the barrel was rolled. Today, this traditional decoration is added to our barrels at our clients’ request. For some Bordeaux barrels, our artisan coopers add an end crossboard, traditionally made of pine and held in place by a system of pegs. The chateau or estate’s logo can be engraved here upon request. Whether Burgundian ‘pièces’ or Bordeaux ‘barriques’, all of our barrels (225L/228L to 600L) can be customised using laser marking to make every barrel unique.

  • GLOBAL REACH
    Rayonnement

    Once these meticulous steps are complete, our barrels are ready to be shipped to you! We have a presence in every wine region on the planet and supply 4,000 clients across five continents every year. Once ready and carefully packaged, the barrels leave our three production sites (Merpins and Chagny in France and Napa in the USA) and head out to our partners and their wines, the best in the world!

FIND OUT MORE
  • History

    185 years of history, punctuated by innovations, starting in Cognac before spreading to Bordeaux, Burgundy, Napa (USA) and the rest of the world.

  • Pioneer since 1838

    As a craft cooperage, SEGUIN MOREAU has been innovating boldly since 1838. Such a pioneer spirit cannot be decreed, it must take shape by itself!

  • Our commitments

    Our cooperage is committed to offering innovative, high-quality and sustainable oenological products while ensuring that our expertise is passed on.