Do You Toast the Inside of the Barrel?
Barrels are made from Oak, Chestnut, Pine, Redwood, etc. depending on the part of the world you live. In our wine process, we use Oak barrels. The wood is cut into staves and air dried. The Cooper (Barrel Maker) builds a small campfire and sets the selected wood staves around it in a barrel shape. As the fire burns, the sides of the staves closest to the heat begin to toast and the wood bows toward the heat giving the shape of the sides of the barrel.
The smaller the fire and less the time the oak surrounds it, the lighter the toast. The larger the fire and the longer the oak surrounds it, the darker the toast.
There are light toast, medium toast, heavy toast, and charred barrels. Each style of barrel contributes different flavor components to the wine.