We experimented with this using 5 pounds in our bin at crush last season with our Cabernet. So far, the results are really good. So good, that @NorCal and I and other partners will be crushing our Cab Franc and Petite Syrah into oak chips once again this coming season. So what are the benefits? One notable benefit is the reduction of any vegetal characteristics. This can be REAL helpful with Cab Franc. I think another benefit is a overall perceived "smoothness". Petite Syrah can bring big tanins to the forefront, and I'm hoping to tame them a bit with this strategy. Studies have shown that this approach can also enhance the fruit component....probably due to a reduction of the vegetal aromas. Others have asserted that chips at this stage can also enhance the pigmentation. Studies haven't concluded that at least as far as I've read. I was made aware of this approach with oak chips after talking with renown winemaker, Jeff Runquist. We observed him crushing into bins that already contained about a 5-gallon bucket's worth of Evoak Classic Medium Toast American small chips. His wines are always consistently smooth and award-winning. Could this be another element in our quest to keep improving our wines? The jury is still out, but the Cab is doing well and we'll see how this works with Cab Franc and Petite Syrah in the coming months. I just ordered a 40-pound bag. I wanted to make sure I had this in our tool bag BEFORE the mad ordering starts in preparation for this harvest. Is anyone else using small oak chips (or dust) at fermentation?