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Oak Chips for Vinification and Maturing


What are oak chips?

Known in oenology as "chips", oak chips allow to imitate the aging of wine in barrels. These pieces of natural wood are aEffective alternative for vinification and maturation, they assure you the same aromatic and gustatory quality of the wine.

Why choose wood chips for winemaking and maturing?

More economical than barrel aging, the oak chips are very easy to use. By choosing the wood chipsyou can sublimate the grape at a lower cost by using fruity or woody notes. Depending on their use, it is possible to correct imperfections due to dryness or bad weather.

What are the regulations for the purchase of oak chips in oenology?

Namely, the Regulation of the European Economic Community allows the use of wood chips of more than 2 mm thickness:

  • for breeding since December 20, 2005,
  • for wine making since July 10, 2009.

For more information, the French Institute of Vine and Wine in Occitania answers the questions of winegrowers through a practical information sheet on oak chips.

What is the origin of the oak wood for the winemaking chips?

The fresh oak wood in the chips comes from two species, French and American (Quercus Petraea and Alba) having dried in the open air for a minimum of 18 months. Quality is at the heart of our wood manufacturing process.

How can the tannin and aromas of the wine be enhanced by the oak chips?

The size of the wood chips influences the diffusion speed of the aromas and flavors in wine. This explains its difference in complexity with the staves. The oak pieces in the wine improve the sweetness and theunctuousness which are two characteristics highly sought after by the consumer.

Depending on the desired results, wood chips can be introduced into the winemaking process before, during or after the alcoholic fermentation. The earlier they are used in the process, the more the woody aroma will blend with the wine. In this regard, in the Revue des œnologues of October 2016, it is interesting to read the comparison of sensory and analytical profiles of vinified wines that was carried out.

Discover the method to use to introduce the wine chips in the fermentation

The oak wood chips are sold in 10 kg bags with 2 infusion nets (composition: food grade polyethylene) of 5 Kg. Our recommendations for use in the tanks are :

  • Disperse the bags of chips at different heights in the tank using synthetic rope for a very good diffusion and a perfect homogenization.
  • Precaution: at least one pumping over every 15 days to homogenize the tank.
  • Control and maintain free active SO2 ≥ 0.6 mg/L
  • Short contact time: 2 months

Our range of available heaters for oak chips

Our wood chips have benefited from a roasting process that allows to reveal the sweetness of the wines, or to emphasize the volume as well as the length in the mouth. This process also offers the possibility of obtaining an almost infinite range of aromas, from vanilla to chocolate, gingerbread and mocha, depending on the toasting profile. Our wood chips are available in this range of profiles from integral core convection heaters : 

For the fine winesWe offer a wide range of products from our premium Quality One range, a blend chips premium 2 months of contact between 2 and 4 g/L for a traditional or soft blendand thus obtain a surprising complexity in record time.

Need to know more about the quality / price ratio of wine chips?

Our expert oenologists answer your questions.