Every autumn, once our people have identified the plots of oak that we feel are likely to produce the best stavewood, they go in majority to the ONF auctions and bid on the best lots. Choosing the oaks, which are generally 200 to 250 years old, requires years of experience, a full knowledge of the forests and, in particular, of the growth rates of the trees which determine the type of grain.
All staves are carefully inspected. The quality control is very strict at each step of the production process. This rigor is crucial to guarantee the quality of the final product.
It takes a special skill to assemble the staves to create a barrel. The choice of wood is the key to giving life to the barrel and thus enhancing the wine. A great barrel is assembled in the same way as a wine is blended. Such precise assemblies are made possible by the in-depth knowledge of the forests acquired by the Sylvain family and its employees. Research has measured and identified the markers that make forest terroirs distinctive; it is therefore possible to establish a significant relationship between the different forest origins and winemaking terroirs or grape varieties.