A precise and steady know-how

Wood Purchase

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.


The oak trees, in the form of unbarked logs, are delivered to Sylvain Bois stave mill, next to Tonnellerie Sylvain, then the painstaking work begins to split the unbarked logs into perfect staves through the following steps: cutting of the logs into sections, splitting of the sections, shortening, shaving, hollowing and jointing of the staves.


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.


The ageing of the staves is carefully checked and controlled. The logs are split at the Merranderie Sylvain Bois and the staves are aged naturally for two or three years in the Tonnellerie Sylvain 10 hectar wood yard. This is a key stage in which the oak undergoes radical changes: disappearance of the coarse tannins, biochemical maturation and development of aromas.


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.


The expertise and eye of the master coopers, combined ith temperature measurement tools and toasting procedures refined over many years, mean that our barrels can be made with the exact required degree of toasting. The technical precision of the toasting process adds an aromatic dimension to the barrel that it then passes on into the wine.


After sanding, barrels are customed, clients can have their logo or any requested label marked on the heads, a bar placed on the head or chestnut hoops. Last customizations are carefully carried out to always answer the perfection.

Quality Control

Each barrel leaving Tonnellellerie Sylvain has been quality controled according to strict protocols.

Shipping & After Sales

Barrels are shipped away to enhance wines all over the world