Wood Chip Rose

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Sep 30, 2009
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Banbury UK

Wood shavings keep Southern French rosé wines looking fresh for longer

17 April, 2023Chips stabilise colour and aroma

Segiun Moreau​

The addition of wood chips preserves the freshness of rosé wines. If chips are added at the beginning of fermentation, they stabilise the colour and aromatic freshness of the wines. According to the industry magazine vitisphere.com, this practice is now common in Provence - even if few winemakers want to talk about it. Nevertheless, some oenologists report on their experiences: For example, the wood does not affect the colour, but makes it appear shiny and fresh for longer. It also improves the fruit, the structure and the shelf life of the wines. In addition, the chips eliminate some herbal notes like the pyrazine of Cabernet Sauvignon from the wines.

This is This is important, it says, because rosé has long ceased to be a seasonal product and the trade must be supplied with youthful-tasting wines by November or December of the year following the harvest. According to the report, it is recommended to add the wood chips at the beginning of fermentation so that their flavour can integrate better. In order to prevent the wines from appearing woody, the dose should not be higher than 0.8 g/l, according to experts. However, one could also add up to 4 g/l to obtain more distinctly woody batches that could be used as blending partners for the finished cuvée. The majority of the wood chips should be fresh; a small proportion of roasted chips can also have a positive influence on the taste. In the meantime, there are own wood blends for rosés, for example from the barrel producer Seguin Moreau.

As Lilian Bertin, technical director of the winery Vignerons du Pays d'Ensérune, reports, the chips cost from 0.2 euros to 0.8 euros per hl, depending on the quality of the wines. "We only lignify 10 to 15 per cent of the 70,000 hl we produce. We use these lots as parts in our cuvées, which are sold in bottles and are well rated."

I assume the chips are oak, but I could be wrong. The article doesn’t say what they are! (Wein.plus)