The Oenochêne company
The origin of Œnochêne
In 1995, as part of his mandate as Regional President of the Languedoc-Roussillon Oenologists, Jean-Luc Liberto, an oenologist by training, was entrusted with the mission of conducting an experiment on wood chips in relation to the Syndicat des Vins du Pays d'Oc.
After this experimentation, Europe officialized in 2006 this new oenological practice which consists in adding pieces of oak wood in wines, including for the fermentation of fresh grapes and grape musts. It is in this context that Œnochêne was born in 2006.
Founded by Jean-Luc Liberto, Œnochêne specializes in the production of oak wood for oenology. A know-how resulting from an experimentation of more than 15 years allowing to manufacture pieces of oak wood used for the elaboration of the wines in order to pass on certain constituents from the oak tree.
Headed by Jérôme Baudin, also an oenologist by training, the company has been based in Mauguio, near Montpellier, since 2013.
The only oak wood production plant for oenology in Languedoc and Roussillon, the company has an experimental cellar and a tasting room.
Our know-how: Quality & Process
For the selection and the supply of wood, Œnochêne has set up strong partnerships with stave mills which ensure regularity, quality and traceability of the wood. The work of wood, on all the length of the chain, is respectful of the environment, natural, without any addition of chemical product.
The pieces of wood come exclusively from oak species:
The maturation of the wood
The wood is stored in the open air for 24 to 36 months. It is at this stage that a series of physico-chemical reactions take place, essential for refining the quality of the wood.
The maturation of the wood allows it to lose its excess of unpleasant tannic compounds and develops its aromatic potential through the transformation of hitherto odourless aroma precursors.
The stages of production
Œnochêne uses wood, all from oak trees destined to make barrels. Dried and matured for a minimum of 24 months in the open air, the wood is then cut into pieces of varying sizes before being used in the maturing of the wines.
But above all, the specificity of Œnochêne is to have developed new techniques of wood torrefaction, from which it succeeds in extracting its best natural compounds - from vanilla to coffee through spicy bread or chocolate - thanks to a control of the toasting time and temperature. Œnochêne has thus created a wide range of organoleptic profiles of toasting declined on the various formats of wood proposed.
Grinding, heating, conditioning and traceability of wood
The wood is either left in its natural state or heated by convection in a light, medium or strong way. Convection heating (ventilated hot air system) allows for good reproducibility and homogeneous core heating. During the toasting of wood for oenology, the wood polyosides (mainly cellulose and hemicellulose) are transformed into furanic compounds (caramel, toasted notes), enolic compounds (sweetness, toasted bread), phenol aldehydes (vanilla, spicy, woody), methyl-lactone compounds (coconut, woody)...
The evolution and formation of all these compounds are obtained according to the intensity of the heating.
The use of the products is facilitated thanks to an adapted packaging. Chips, microstaves and ministaves are packed in polyethylene bags of 5 Kg suitable for easy use and implementation in cellars.
For use in barrels or other containers, systems have been studied and are available to customers.
Traceability: a rigorous quality control
All the batches received by Œnochêne are controlled and accompanied by a certificate of origin.
The traceability of the wood is ensured from the reception of the wood to the packaging. Each piece of wood is controlled before each transformation and each batch undergoes a sensory analysis before marketing.
The HACCP standard is in place since 2009, and we are certified ISO 22000: 2018 for the production (heating, cutting, grinding) and packaging of wood for oenology.
Research and experimentation
Œnochêne has its own research department to regularly experiment new toasting techniques in order to innovate, discover new aromatic profiles and create new products.
Œnochêne is also equipped with an experimental cellar which enables it to test directly on the wines the products resulting from the research laboratory. These experiments allow us to determine the best possible blends between the different grape varieties and Œnochêne products.
The Œnochêne team
Œnochêne is above all a team of oenologists who have developed a particular expertise in the production of oenological woods.
They participate in the structuring of the wine by studying which is the best product and at which stage of the elaboration to use the range of woods according to the desired wine profile. This is done in order to best meet the expectations of consumers.
This oenological approach is the result of rigorous R&D work using wood. Our technicians accompany and advise their clients in order to create pleasurable wines, to create new wines and to arouse new desires for consumption.
Our products are intended for all professionals in the wine industry: cooperative wineries, wineries, merchants, marketers.
We distribute our products directly in France and also export them throughout the world Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia, Germany, Eastern Europe, Argentina...